A new alliance of eight engineering services organisations has urged the government to rethink its intention to remove funding from the £2bn Green Homes Grants (GHG) scheme
“Such drastic reduction of funding sends out all the wrong signals, especially as the Government aims to put the green economy at the heart of plans for rebuilding the economy,” said Julia Evans from Actuate UK member BSRIA.
“Initiatives to encourage the take up of low carbon solutions need to be long term and consistent,” adds Hywel Davies, from Actuate UK member CIBSE.
“A short-term stimulus does not create the market shift required to achieve net-zero targets, including the development of a suitably skilled workforce in key sectors.
“To invest in the necessary recruitment, training and technologies, businesses must know that Government means business, and is in this for the long haul.”
Julia Evans added: “We suggest that next week’s Budget is a huge opportunity for Government to underline its commitment to building a green economy and recovery, especially ahead of the UK’s hosting COP26, and that this should include ongoing commitment to green residential retrofit.”
Actuate UK proposes Government:
- Review the operation of the Green Homes Grants, in consultation with the sector groups that would implement the energy efficient and low carbon measures it is supporting and;
- Release all the original GHG funding, ensuring that the full £2bn is available until March 2022 and act swiftly to resolve the administration problems with the scheme based on current feedback.
- Consider a requirement for GHG voucher to be used to create a ‘green building passport’ to give homeowners a plan from the medium to long term.
- Develop a robust pathway so that the GHG voucher scheme can support the transition into future long-term support.
- Reduce VAT to zero on all energy efficiency-related products.