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Government energy efficiency changes to increase costs and forget affordable housing
By: Sustainable Homes
Companies and landlords have taken months to draw up plans for improvements to their homes. Schemes worth millions of pounds and employing thousands of local people are being scrapped. The hard to treat and solid wall works, supported by ECO funding are more technically challenging to deliver. Reducing targets for these measures means industry cannot gear up production and reduce costs for installation. Costs for these measures will stay high.
Government is also introducing energy efficiency support for private landlords. The scheme will support 15,000 rental properties each year for three years. A minor amount compared with the overall target for ECO of 100,000 homes a year, many of which would have been affordable housing. The social housing sector has been forgotten.
Also announced was £1,000 to spend on energy saving measures when people move homes. This will increase uptake for the Green Deal. While this is welcome this measure provides one off households with the subsidy. This is a far less efficient than rolling out works to housing association stock.
When the energy companies were finding it hard to meet targets the obligations have changed. There is a real concern that future obligations set by Government will not be trusted.
The Government is increasing funding for local authorities for "Green Deal Communities"
Sustainable Homes wrote with support of over 145 landlords, local authorities, councils, academics, Greenpeace, the National Trust and others to call on Government for minimum solid wall insulation targets.
We invited the Prime Minister and officials to come and see the work ECO is supporting in improving homes and providing local employment. Despite three letters this invite has been ignored. The piecemeal proposals outlined above are a knee jerk reaction to attempt to cover the hole left by not dealing with the worst effected properties.
We will continue to work with others through the consultation and beyond to make the case that the 7 million people with solid wall and those in hard to treat homes should be prioritised.
Sustainable Homes has provided expert training and advice on how to retrofit or build homes sustainably since 1997. They also provide secretarial services to the Sustainable Homes Index For Tomorrow, the award-winning sustainability best practice group representing over two million residents.
For more information contact:
0208 973 0420 www.sustainablehomes.co.uk
0208 973 0420