Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
Failure on energy efficiency damages efforts to tackle climate change
The UK stands no chance of meeting its emissions reduction targets, including net zero by 2050, unless the Government takes urgent action to revive its failing energy efficiency policy and builders are compelled to deliver the latest energy efficiency standards, MPs have warned.
A report by the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee states that improving the energy efficiency of buildings will be vital to meeting climate change obligations, eradicating fuel poverty and lowering home energy bills. Energy efficiency is the cheapest way of reducing carbon emissions, but public investment has shrunk, and the rate of installations has gone backwards – with insulation measures installed in houses under Government schemes now around 95 per cent lower than in 2012.
The report concludes that energy efficiency is a national infrastructure priority and calls on the Government to designate it as such. The report is clear that if the Government is serious about achieving its climate and fuel poverty targets it needs to fill the substantial investment gap and allocate more central funding for energy efficiency.
The report also highlights the low levels of per capita investment in residential energy efficiency schemes in England compared with Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland. The report concludes that the UK Government considers energy efficiency less of a priority than its counterparts in the devolved administrations.
The report calls for more robust building regulations, finding that builders are currently able to exploit loopholes that allow them to build homes to outdated standards and sell homes that do not meet advertised energy standards.
Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:
“Improving energy efficiency is by far the cheapest way of cutting our emissions and must be a key plank of any credible strategy to deliver net zero by 2050. If the Government lacks the political will to deliver energy efficiency improvements, how can we expect it to get on with the costlier actions needed to tackle climate change? More energy efficient buildings are not only crucial for tackling climate change but are vital for lowering customers’ energy bills and lifting people out of fuel poverty. Despite a consensus on what needs to be done, Ministers have continued to sit on their hands and failed to deliver the policies needed to boost energy efficiency.
"The Government needs to commit to investing in schemes to ensure all buildings are brought up to the highest energy efficiency standards. The Government has failed to close loopholes in regulations that allow builders to develop to outdated standards and also enabled builders to sell homes that do not meet the standards advertised.”
The report says the Government should set out urgently how it intends to meet its target for all homes to reach EPC Band C by 2035, which the Committee considers an empty commitment.
The report also recommends that the Government drastically increases the £5 million allocated to the Green Home Finance Innovation Fund, set up to encourage the private sector to develop finance products to incentivise households to make energy efficiency improvements.
Latest News from
Parliamentary Committees and Public Enquiries
What lessons for UK public services from the coronavirus pandemic?01/06/2020 15:33:00
Peers launch new inquiry, asking what lessons should be learned for public services from coronavirus pandemic.
Twitter, Facebook and Google recalled to Parliament21/05/2020 15:33:00
The DCMS Sub-committee is demanding that social media companies return to give evidence after failing to provide adequate answers about how they are tackling false narratives about Covid-19.
High-Speed 2 project managers “blindsided by contact with reality”18/05/2020 15:33:00
In a report published yesterday, Sunday 17th May 2020, the Public Accounts Committee says the High Speed 2 rail project has gone “badly off course”, and demands that Government gives regular, accurate and open updates on the problems the project is facing and progress on developing the appropriate skills and capabilities.
European Statutory Instruments Committee recommends further debate11/05/2020 15:33:00
Following the Committee’s meeting on Tuesday 5 May, its fourth report of Session 2019-21 has been published.
Desperate parents scramble for “golden ticket” for children with SEND06/05/2020 15:33:00
Committee concludes children with special educational needs and disabilities (SEND) are seeing their education, well-being and life chances damaged by failings in SEND provision, and that the Department for Education does not have a grip on mounting pressure in the system.
Vital national interests are at stake in future relationship negotiations with the EU06/05/2020 13:43:00
The ESC has consulted Select Committees on the implications of the EU’s negotiating mandate for the UK’s vital national interests in their policy areas. Today’s Report also highlights their concerns.
Planned new Government legal powers “unjustified and ill-considered”05/05/2020 15:33:00
The Constitution Committee has published a report on the Private International Law (Implementation of Agreements) Bill [HL].
Creation of Covid-19 Committee recommended by Lords Liaison Committee04/05/2020 15:33:00
The Lords Liaison Committee recently (01 May 2020) recommended to the House the creation of a Covid-19 Committee which will look at the long-term implications of Covid-19.