UK Government announces £1.8bn investment in energy-efficient buildings
A total of £1.4bn has been designated by the Government for two plans - £630m for the HUG and £780m for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund. Additionally, the Government has also stated that there will be an additional £1.1bn of support from local authorities, social housing providers, and charities for the latter scheme.
It was also declared today that the spending amounts for both the HUG and the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund have been broken down by region. The funds will be dispersed beginning next month and covering a two-year time frame.
Financial aid to retrofit households with an energy performance certificate (EPC) of C or below is to be provided by both schemes, the Government predicting that 115,000 homes across England will benefit from it. This money can be used for double and triple glazing, wall insulation, and loft insulation. They further assert that a typical home that takes advantage of this scheme will witness a decline in their yearly energy expenses between £220 and £400.
Grant Shapps, Secretary for Energy Security and Net-Zero, declared that this significant investment will allow households to save a lot of money on energy payments and be able to enjoy greater comfort for extended periods of time.
Adam Scorer, the Chief of National Energy Action, declared that the investment was "essential" and "extremely necessary".
According to Scorer, low-income households that reside in the least energy efficient homes are bearing the brunt of the energy crisis. Analysis from the Energy & Climate Intelligence Unit last year showed that those in homes rated 'F' on the Energy Performance Certificate could be paying up to £1,000 more annually for their gas bills in 2020 than those in homes rated 'C' or better.
The UK has seen a substantial increase in the percentage of housing stock meeting the EPC C or higher rating since 2008, with 46% of homes now meeting this standard versus 9% at the start of the timeframe. Social housing has seen an even greater improvement, with the number rising to 66% after a rise of 18%. Climate experts have recommended that the Government introduce laws and regulations to ensure that all homes meet the EPC C rating by 2035.
Structures belonging to the public sector can be seen throughout many locations. These buildings function in various capacities and serve a wide range of purposes.
The Government has today revealed the division of funds from the Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme, the amount of which stands at £409m.
A total of 114 public sector organisations in England which have made successful applications for projects to enhance the energy efficiency of hospitals, schools, universities, museums and leisure centres, will receive a share of the funding.
The Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is in place to assist the government in carrying out its pledge to reduce the carbon footprint of public sector buildings to 75% less than 2017 levels by 2037. This scheme covers the costs of a wide selection of energy efficient ventures and low-carbon heating solutions up to the full amount.
A £2.5bn package has been allocated by the Government to invest in restoring public sector buildings from 2020 to 2025.
In 2019, the National Audit Office (NAO) reproached the Government's methods of accounting and detailing greenhouse gas discharges from public sector structures, citing multiple regulations and a lack of responsibility as causes of confusion for those in the industry.
In the NAO's report, departments of the central government were noted to be making satisfactory progress in terms of decarbonisation. However, it also highlighted a "patchy" and "inconsistent" application of reporting and accounting that is resulting in confusion in the sector.