UKGBC calls on new prime minister to ditch ‘unwise’ investment zones ahead of expected reshuffle 

The UK Green Building Council (UKGBC) has urged Rishi Sunak to follow through on his suggestion in the summer that hundreds of millions of pounds be diverted into insulating homes.

Sunak, during the first of this year’s Conservative party leadership contests in July, was reported by the Times as saying he wants to see money currently focused on heat pumps and decarbonisation measures for public buildings instead refocused on an insulation programme for people on low incomes.

Sunak said: “If we can refocus that money to do these types of interventions, which are quicker and cheaper, that seems like a sensible thing for us to be focusing on.” 

energy efficiency

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The UKGBC said the new PM should spend hundreds of millions of pounds insulating homes

Simon McWhirter, director of communications, policy and ideas at UKGBC, today said: “In his last campaign to become PM, Rishi Sunak rightly promised to lead a national effort to cut energy waste and insulate millions of homes.

“That would help tick every box. Our industry is ready to support him to deliver on it”

He added the change of prime minister gives the “chance for a fresh start” and to “put in place the strategic long-range policies that can turn around the UK’s fortunes on energy security and cost of living”.

Sunak is expected to carry out a Cabinet reshuffle later today and tomorrow.

McWhirter also called on Sunak to ditch former prime minister Liz Truss’ investment zones policy. The zones, announced in last month’s mini-budget, will operate under a simplified planning process, with lower environmental regulations and are intended to stimulate or speed up development of residential and commercial sites.

See also: Industry reaction as Rishi Sunak becomes prime minister

He said: “This was a recipe for more conflict and delay over new home and building developments. Businesses don’t want a race to the bottom. Instead, they need certainty and ambition to deliver much-needed green growth and investment. That’s why our planning system needs to be overhauled to bring it into line with the UK’s legally-binding climate and nature commitments.”