CBI publishes report on home energy efficiency

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The third in a series of reports setting out an action plan to improve the efficiency of the UK’s homes has been published…

Since September last year, the CBI has created a series of documents relating to home energy efficiency. Today, the final of the three policy briefings has been published.

Overcoming the hassle factor‘ examines the barriers facing consumers who could be interested in undertaking energy efficiency measures. The document states the government must overcome the “hassle” factor and consider the journey a customer undertakes when buying, improving or renting a property to ensure they engage them in improving the efficiency of their homes.

The document states: “Achieving household energy efficiency refurbishments at scale will be impossible without the buy-in from, and direct engagement with, the public.

“This means that to be successful, a future policy framework must have consumers at its heart, encouraging them to value and pursue energy efficient homes through consistent and effective incentives and an appropriate regulatory framework.

“Industry can then invest against this policy and regulatory framework to create a market for energy efficiency measures.”

The paper warned that difficulties facing the sector, which has seen numerous schemes cut or scaled back, means the government needs to be more proactive than ever.

“Following the recent announcements and the uncertainty they have created, it is vital that government takes this opportunity to put in place a holistic policy framework, with cross-party support, and clear ambitions to retrofit the UK’s housing stock that out-live political cycles,” it said.

“Importantly, this framework should reflect the lessons learned from previous efforts to drive forward a sustainable energy efficiency market.”

The report follows two earlier papers published in September and November last year. ‘The future of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO)‘ outlines details on the plans for a successor to the Energy Company Obligation, which is set to end in March 2017.

The second briefing, ‘Consumer demand: the key to a sustainable energy efficiency market‘, focuses on targeted incentives and regulations that support and encourage householders to invest in energy efficiency improvements. It highlights the belief a strong domestic energy efficiency market should be driven by consumers actively wanting to install efficiency improvements.

CBI’s business environment director Rhian Kelly said: “The electricity and gas we use in our homes accounts for over a quarter of our total energy consumption.

“Increasing the efficiency of the houses we all live in is therefore a crucial part of a long-term policy to reduce consumer bills and bring down our carbon emissions.

“But we need a clear policy framework to support businesses and homeowners to take effective action.

“Changes to policy over the last year, including cuts to the Green Deal and the removal of zero-carbon homes standards, have had a big effect. It’s now time for government to demonstrate it’s serious about tackling energy efficiency.”

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