28th August 2014
UK Green Building Council call for government action on retrofitting
Many government initiatives have aimed to incentivise the take-up of insulation, but with mixed success. Is more action needed?
If all you learnt about the construction industry was from the media, you’d believe that house building is the only source of income for construction companies. However, the retrofitting market is also significant – and should not be underestimated. The government sees energy efficiency as one of the key measures for achieving its carbon reduction targets, and has implemented a number of initiatives aimed at incentivising homeowners to install additional insulation measures in their homes.
New figures suggest that the amount of work under two key government retrofit schemes – the energy company obligation (ECO) and the Green Deal – is at its lowest level in nearly 18 months, despite the economic recovery. The figures, from the Department for Energy and Climate Change, suggests that approximately 32,000 efficiency measures were installed in June 2014, the lowest level since April 2013, shortly after the schemes launched.
However, there is some good news for the retrofit industry. Although ECO installments fell significantly, the level of Green Deal assessments has increased, as homeowners hurried to capitalise on government subsidies via the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund, which closed to new applicants after only six weeks, due to the demand for its modest £120 million fund.
The UK Green Building Council say that these figures suggest that the retrofitting market requires additional government incentives. The UK Green Building Council’s director of policy and communications said that the government was required to ‘pull all the levers at its disposal’ to provide the retrofit market with a long term, sustainable future.
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