Green Business Council Calls for Government to Lead the Way Towards Insulating 25 Million Homes
The UK is aiming to cut carbon emissions by 80% by the middle of this century. Given that approximately one third of emissions come from heating draughty homes, the announcement that 25 million homes will fail to meet insulation standards by then is causing considerable concern.
Upgrading the quality of insulation in homes would not only improve the health, finances and standard of living for residents, but would also potentially create thousands of jobs. For decades, successive governments have failed to improve housing stock, considered to be amongst some of the worst in Europe. The question remains as to where funding for these upgrades will be found. For homeowners and private landlords a significant initial investment which takes many years to be cost effective is proving to be a stumbling block, whilst local authorities lack the funds to improve their own housing stock.
In a recently published report, the Green Building Council – consisting of several major construction firms – concluded that business must now look to innovative technology such as robots to revolutionise the process. Making the operation less disruptive and more affordable is seen as the key to engaging not only private owner-occupiers and landlords but also local authorities. The GBC argued that improving the energy efficiency of our homes was key to eradicating fuel poverty by slashing household energy bills by up to 80%. Moreover, this would also have a positive impact on the environment, and reduce UK reliance on fuel imports. It is now calling for support from the government for innovation, and for retrofitting of insulation to be made a key infrastructure priority. The government responded that it intends to devise strategies as soon as possible.
It is likely that many small firms across the country will be drafted to complete the much-needed improvements, helping to meet the government’s target of spending £1 in every £3 with SMEs by 2020. This could mean an extra £3 billion per year being injected into the SME supply chain. Smaller firms will have to compete for these lucrative contracts, meaning the ability to construct a compelling and compliant bid has never been more important.
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