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Energy efficiency inquiry

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee examined the Government’s approach to delivering energy efficiency improvements to buildings.

Objectives of the consultation

The inquiry examined whether Government’s current delivery of energy efficiency improvements within residential, commercial and public-sector buildings is consistent with meeting targets set out in the Clean Growth Strategy, and the fourth and fifth carbon budgets.

The Committee invited written submissions on the following points: 

  • Overarching approach: Who should have responsibility to pay for energy efficiency? Should energy efficiency be considered a national infrastructure priority?
  • Existing housing stock: Are the Government's targets to improve the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) ratings of our existing housing stock ambitious enough? Is there sufficient support in place to deliver targets for all homes to be EPC band C by 2035?  Is the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) an adequate mechanism to ensure fuel-poor homes are upgraded to EPC band C by 2030?
  • Private rented sector: Are the Government's private rented sector regulations for energy efficiency for both residential and commercial buildings ambitious enough? Are there implementation and enforcement challenges that need to be remedied?
  • Regional disparities: Are there regional disparities, including in off-grid areas, in the delivery, costs and uptake of energy efficiency measures? If so, how could these be overcome?
  • Non-domestic sector: What does existing evidence indicate about progress being made towards greater energy efficiency in public and commercial buildings?
  • Lessons to learn: What lessons can be learnt from the devolved administrations on delivering energy efficiency measures?

The inquiry concluded on 17 January 2019.

CIBSE response

CIBSE responded to the inquiry highlighting the need for energy efficiency to be a national infrastructure priority and for a coherent vision to be articulated across all buildings and sectors.

Improving energy efficiency of the building stock is essential to meet UK carbon reduction targets, and is one of the most effective options for increasing the resiliency of national infrastructure. The levels at which energy efficiency schemes have been delivered in the past has been confusing; some national and others local, some free whilst others are discounted or need loans, some based on geographical area whilst others focus on incidence of fuel poverty. Schemes have been complex, not properly resourced and not given enough time to gain momentum or build capacity. Clear information, trusted supply chains and quality standards for energy efficiency improvements are key to delivery and currently are not consistent across the country.

CIBSE response has been published, among other submissions, on the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee website. To read the CIBSE response, please follow the link below:

Results of the consultation and next steps

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee published its response to the inquiry on energy efficiency on 9 July 2019. CIBSE supports the resulting report, which clearly states that ‘A major upgrade of the energy performance of the UK’s entire building stock will be a fundamental pillar of any credible strategy to reach net zero emissions, to address fuel poverty and cut energy bills’.

The report also highlights evidence, which shows that energy efficiency investment presents an opportunity for further net benefits, including: energy savings, cutting energy bills, economic growth, jobs, optimised infrastructure investment, competitiveness, NHS savings and avoided harm related to air quality. The aim is to feed in to the Government’s forthcoming update of the fuel poverty strategy, its series of ongoing consultations on energy efficiency policy and its upcoming review of Building Regulations. Key conclusions from the report are summarised in the CIBSE briefing.

To read the full BEIS Committee report, please follow the link below.