Responding to the Chancellor’s Spring Statement, UKGBC’s CEO, Julie Hirigoyen said:

“Today’s VAT cut to energy saving measures is a first step towards reversing the 70% collapse in the number of energy efficiency measures installed in our homes over the last 9 years. Together with 28 prominent business leaders, UKGBC wrote to the Chancellor ahead of the Spring Statement calling for this VAT cut, amongst other measures, and we’re pleased Mr Sunak was listening on this point. 

Whilst only a small step, it sends a useful signal to industry and households and will simplify what is currently a complex system for installers to navigate. But the major barrier to large-scale action to upgrade the country’s draughty homes is still the Government’s lack of serious funding, financial incentives and a national plan. This should start with fulfilling the 2019 election promise to spend £9.2bn on existing successful schemes for low income and social housing. We need to see an expansion of the small-scale Boiler Upgrade Scheme, a successor to the Green Homes Grant Scheme and long term financial drivers such as a green stamp duty.

A big piece missing from the Spring Statement was significant immediate support for the over 6 million households who will be gripped by the fuel poverty crisis from April. Helping households to cut energy waste and switch to clean energy is the best way to lower their energy bills for good. UKGBC’s Net Zero Whole Life Carbon Roadmap demonstrates that a national programme of home retrofit could save on average £430 per home on their energy bills, releasing vital disposable income to vulnerable households. 

With energy bills set to soar further in Autumn, much more Government support is urgently needed to invest in the longer term energy efficiency solutions. The Prime Minister still has an opportunity to put this at the heart of his forthcoming British Energy Security Strategy. Government investment in domestic energy efficiency can quickly become self-financing, it’s the common-sense response.”

Read the letter we sent with 28 prominent business leaders here.

Learn more about our Whole Life Carbon Roadmap here.