Charity calls for £64bn govt investment to retrofit UK homes

The UK Green Building Council is calling for a £64 billion programme of government investment over the next decade to retrofit Britain’s homes.

It says the multi-billion pound retrofit investment will help reduce carbon emissions, bring down energy bills and create 140,000 skilled jobs.

The call is the central plank in a series of requests by the charity, which wants to improve the sustainability of the UK’s built environment. The requests come ahead of the upcoming general election.

UKGBC’s members include start-ups, major listed property companies including British Land, some of the UK’s top housebuilders such as Barratt and Berkeley Homes, as well as public sector bodies including 53 local authorities.

Along with the £64 billion programme of government investment in retrofitting, the UKGBC manifesto also includes a call for reforms to stamp duty to encourage energy efficiency in the housing market and a call to modernise the planning system so decisions support nature and climate goals while enabling more quality, sustainable homes to be built.

It also includes a request to modernise the Landlord and Tenant Act to drive uptake in green leases for commercial real estate.

The charity says the £64 billion programme will see investment in home insulation, replacing gas boilers with electric heat pumps, and other low carbon measures.

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It says this retrofit scheme would save £60 billion in grid upgrade costs over 10 years, as well as saving £22 billion for the NHS over the same period. 

A further £9bn will be cut from household energy bills saving the average household £300 per year, the charity argues.

Louise Hutchins, head of policy at the UKGBC, said: ”Reimagining and renewing the places we live, work and play is one of the best ways for an incoming government to tackle some of the country’s most palpable crises — from soaring energy, housing and health costs, to hollowed out town centres, communities repeatedly hit by flooding and overheating, and the breakdown of our climate and nature. 

“The built environment industry stands ready to help as an active partner, but any government wanting to show big tangible improvements will need to put their shoulder behind a much bolder approach than we’ve seen up to now. 

“That means leadership from the top, comprehensive long-term strategies that communities and investors can get behind and a step-change in government investment surgically targeted where its most needed.”

Last month, a coalition of real estate industry organisations is calling on the government to publish its plans on future minimum energy efficiency standards for the commercial real estate sector.

Nature and the environmentPolicySocial sustainability

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