Industry organisations push government on green agenda

A number of industry organisations have written to the Chancellor of the Exchequor urging him to re-think the ‘consequnetial improvements’ policy, which was recently removed from Building regulations changes.

In an open letter to the Chancellor, the group says: “Although we recognise that industry needs to take a lead on delivery, there are some things only Government can do to address clear and persistent market failures and create a level playing field. There are therefore policy actions that could be taken which would better enable our members to make the most of this opportunity, and to deliver tangible results on the ground.”

The letter is signed by the heads of, among others, the Construction Products Association, the Home Builders Federation, UK Green Building Council, Timber Trade Federation, Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors and Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers

It calls for the government to:

1. Introduce long term structural incentives to encourage householders to take up energy efficiency measures, and reconsider elements of the ‘consequential improvements’ policy, which would be a powerful driver of the Green Deal.

2. Consider a ring-fenced retrofit programme for public buildings, funded by a combination of the £1.5bn annual government departmental underspend and other innovative finance mechanisms such as Energy Performance Contracting.

3. Stick to the commitment for all new homes and all new non-domestic buildings to be zero carbon from 2016 and 2019 respectively; and urgently clarify both the interim steps required through Part L and the Allowable Solutions policy.

4. Boost energy saving in commercial buildings by improving and extending Display Energy Certificates to all buildings and provide urgent clarity on the obligations in the Energy Act 2011 to phase out the letting of poorer performing buildings.

5. Encourage long-term investment in green infrastructure and improve confidence in the supply chain by enabling the Green Investment Bank to borrow now, and providing greater clarity on the future for low carbon energy generation.

“Clearly there are issues here that need to be considered in the context of the Government’s objectives on regulation,” the letter finishes. “Our members of course welcome a reduction in burdensome regulation, but it is vital to distinguish between unnecessary red tape, and smart regulation that can provide clear direction as the basis for industry investment, innovation and growth.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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