Industry disappointed by allocation for refurbishment measures to reduce carbon emissions
The chancellor yesterday announced between £300m and £400m of money, either new or brought forward, to improve energy efficiency in existing building stock.
Some £100m was promised to insulate 150,000 houses through the Decent Homes programme. Another £100m will be put towards increasing the energy efficiency of social housing as part of the £600m new housing package.
The Carbon Trust will have £100m more to play with in offering low-cost loans and advice to small or medium enterprises (SMEs). It will also have £65m of loans for public sector buildings to install energy-efficiency measures, supporting 3,000 projects.
But the figure fell far short of the comprehensive fiscal strategy for refurbishment that a broad swathe of the industry was seeking to reduce carbon emissions from buildings while creating jobs.
Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) called the Budget a “wasted opportunity to map a truly low-carbon route of the recession”.
a wasted opportunity to map a truly low-carbon route of the recession
Paul King, chief executive of the UK Green Building Council
He said: “More could have been done to really make green refurbishment affordable and attractive to homeowners, businesses and the public sector.”
Jenny Holland from the UK Association for the Conservation of Energy (UK-ACE) said the government had “failed to incentivise hard-pressed homeowners to save”.
She said: “There's a relatively small sum, some £200m for social housing and also loans for public sector buildings, but nothing similar for the residential sector like what they have in Germany, where it has already delivered big savings.”
Holland added she was “99.9% sure” that she had tracked the re-announcements, but added: “It's always very difficult for those of us who crawl all over these things to discern immediately or even for some time what is new in a Budget announcement. This in itself is disappointing.”