Energy Alton has submitted detailed comments on the Government’s strategy on “clean” (low-carbon, low-pollution) economic growth. https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/clean-growth-strategy. We welcome the positive tone of the Strategy. But we are concerned at the lack of detailed commitments. The Committee for Climate Change (https://www.theccc.org.uk/), the government’s watchdog on the implementation of the Climate Change Act, reported in June 2017 that “progress is stalling …. emissions from buildings have risen in the last two years. … heat in building emissions need to fall by around 20% between 2016-2030; 60% of all new cars sold need to be electric by 2030 and low carbon electric generation needs to increase from 50% of demand to 75% by 2030.”
Points made by Energy Alton include:
- There is no mention of upgrading the house Building Regulations. The Code for Sustainable Homes was withdrawn in 2015 and Local Authorities are not able to specify building standards in relation to energy efficiency above Code Level 4. The Government did not proceed with the zero carbon homes policy.
- Whilst the Strategy does consider the challenges of retro-fitting older properties to improve their energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty, it implies a lack of knowledge of the complexity of doing so. About 40% of all dwellings in England are “hard to treat”, for example because they have solid walls or other structural constraints
- We suggest a detailed sample survey be undertaken to determine the numbers of older properties that cannot be easily improved and for which a tailored and flexible set of solutions, including funding, is required
- We welcome the publication of the call for evidence on “Building a Market for Energy Efficiency“, alongside the Strategy. This is more explicit about the potential benefits of energy saving improvements in homes. We hope the Government’s response to this consultation results in more specific proposals very soon.
- We welcome the commitment to zero carbon cars and vans, also supported in the November 2017 budget with some funding for charging infrastructure. The Government needs to do more to promote the benefits of electric vehicles.
- We strongly oppose the Government’s refusal to support onshore wind. This form of power could be cheaper than new gas power plants and needs the same sort of community incentives that are being given to fracking for shale gas, a fossil fuel.
- The Strategy does not demonstrate sufficient commitment to tidal power, which could also make a big contribution.
Energy Alton’s full response to the Government is here: EnergyAltonCommentsCleanGrowthStrategyFinal