In the lead up to the election a number of Peers wrote an open letter to the Times newspaper, calling for home energy efficiency to be made a spending priority. They argued that investment in energy efficiency is the most cost effective way to cut carbon emissions and provides a long term solution to fuel poverty. The new chief executive of the UK Green Building Council, Julie Hirigoyen also hopes the new government will make energy efficiency a national infrastructure policy, as well as provide a commitment to minimum energy efficiency standards and to zero-carbon buildings. John Alker of the UK Green Building Council provides some initial thoughts on what the election result means for sustainability in the built environment. And Paul King also of the UK Green Building Council restates the case for investment in energy efficiency in his article for Adjacent Government.
The Insulated Render and Cladding Association (INCA) are also calling for the new government to implement energy saving improvements to homes, with their External Wall Insulation manifesto. INCA says external wall insulation as an energy efficiency measure protects consumers against rising energy prices and reduces carbon emissions in line with the UK’s legal obligations.
Ian Hutchcroft, Head of Local Delivery at the Energy Saving Trust asks Energy efficiency and housing: what next for Local Authorities? in his article for Adjacent Government. Bristol is seeking to become the most sustainable city in the UK. To achieve this they have launched Warm Up Bristol, which focuses on improving home energy efficiency. They are also seeking to establish their own energy company and are investing in renewable energy.
Last year the UK installed more new solar power than any other European country. The UK is forecast to remain the leading installer in Europe this year, yet overall Europe’s solar market has declined by 30%.
The Department for Energy and Climate Change has issued an update to the figures for Green Deal and the energy company obligation (ECO). These show, during February 2015, the lowest level of uptake in 20 months.
Green construction is growing worldwide, according to a report on World Green Building Trends. It also indicates a strong green construction market here in Britain, saying that “UK firms include some of the most dedicated to green—45% report doing at least 60% of their work green, and this number is expected to increase by 51% over the next three years, indicating a strong future market”.