Certass Trade Association chair, Jon Vanstone, has commented on the government’s recently announced Green Homes Grant, a £2bn scheme designed to cut carbon emissions by improving the energy efficiency of homes.
The scheme, which will launch in September, will provide homeowners with up to £5,000 for energy-saving home improvements, with the poorest households able to claim as much as £10,000. In addition to loft and cavity wall insulation, the scheme also covers double glazing.
Jon said: “Any government driven activity to improve energy efficiency in the homes is welcome but we needed to do this irrelevant of COVID-19 and a lot more needs to be done in the years ahead. The fact double-glazing is considered within the funding is important for our sector as often we are a poor relation in policy decisions, but it is likely the spend will be targeted more towards boilers and insulation.
“Energy used in homes, pre-COVID, is one fifth of total UK emissions and when combined with the fact that an estimated 10-15,000 people die in homes due to cold indoor temperatures, some serious home retrofitting is required.
“This recession has seen a fall in CO2 emissions with an 8% drop in emissions this year, but Government needs to learn from history and look at how to stimulate recovery that also positively impacts our drive for climate improvement. Hopefully, this will be a step on the road for the UK, as part of our Government’s manifesto commitment to spend £9.2bn for improving the energy efficiency of low income housing and public buildings.
“To be successful, the UK needs to look to drive a programme of retrofit targeting energy ratings of homes; employ tax breaks for the more energy efficient buildings; strengthen regulations around improvements; and specifically target fuel-poverty.”