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Minimum Energy Performance in Domestic Buildings – Ensuring Clean Growth

In 2016, the Sustainable Energy Association launched a campaign to bring the whole of the existing housing stock up to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) band C.

We were therefore delighted to see the Government commit to upgrading all fuel poor homes in the Clean Growth Strategy. The Strategy stated that ‘we want all fuel poor homes to be upgraded to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030’.  For fuel poor homes, the impact of living in a home with leaky walls or inefficient heating systems can be considerable and we welcome the Government’s commitment to improving the homes of the most vulnerable.

However, it is not just the homes of the fuel poor that need upgrading. Whilst these homes are most in need, the impact of leaky homes on energy bills and carbon emissions across the country is substantial. We were pleased to see that the Government has set out a phased approach to improving the housing stock with an aspiration ‘for as many homes as possible to be EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, cost-effective and affordable’. Whilst we welcome this aspiration, we believe that it should be enshrined in law and for this reason we are promoting the Domestic Properties (Minimum Energy Performance) Bill[1].

Enshrining these two targets in law and requiring the Governemnt to develop a more detailed plan of action would prevent any future government disregarding the target, would provide the certainty needed to trigger vital investment in the sector and would encourage innovation. The Bill, which has been introduced by Sir David Amess MP, has cross-party support from notable parliamentarians, including Sir Graham Brady and Sir Edward Davey[2].

The Domestic Properties (Minimum Energy Performance) Bill has two dimensions. Firstly, it requires the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to prepare a plan to bring all fuel-poor homes up to energy performance certificate band C by 2030 as set out in the Clean Growth Strategy. Secondly, it will address those not classified as fuel poor. We recognise that the task of addressing all properties is a more challenging one, so a staged approach has been taken with the target set in 2035 which is aligned with the Government’s own ambition.

The Bill will also require the Minister to maximise new and innovative technologies and to consider how best they can be utilised to realise the Bill’s aims. The introduction of such a Bill will help to provide certainty to industry, to investors and to homeowners encouraging them to invest in low carbon, energy efficient and sustainable solutions.


[1] https://services.parliament.uk/bills/2017-19/domesticpropertiesminimumenergyperformance.html

[2] Bill presented by Sir David Amess, Peter Aldous, Richard Benyon, Sir Graham Brady, Martyn Day, Sir Edward Davey, Mary Glindon, Carolyn Harris, James Heappey, Mr Bernard Jenkin, Dame Caroline Spelman and Daniel Zeichner.

 

SEA’s Head of Parliamentary Affairs, Ron Bailey said:

 “We are building a large national alliance behind this Bill and a large supporter base. The impacts of such a Bill will be realised nationwide, by families, businesses, the NHS, the education sector and the wider economy.

The Clean Growth Strategy demonstrates the current Government’s commitment to improving our homes. But introducing legislation is essential to ensure that their ambitions are achieved in the long-term regardless of who is in power. It is a legacy any Government should be happy to leave behind.

Our homes are where we sleep, work and play so ensuring that they are save, affordable and healthy to live in is of upmost importance. This Bill will help to achieve this today and ensure that we are on our way to having a housing stock that is fit for future generations.”

See Ron’s recent blog 

How can I support this campaign?

To demonstrate the need for a legal requirement on the Government, the Sustainable Energy Association is co-ordinating an industry letter to the Minister which already has many supporters. The letter can be found here.

Please contact Ron Bailey (Head of Parliamentary Affairs) and Samantha Crichton (Policy Advisor) for further information and to support the letter