COMMONS

BEIS Committee launch energy efficiency inquiry

19 November 2018

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

The inquiry will examine 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 our fourth and fifth carbon budgets.

Upgrading energy efficiency

The inquiry is likely to focus on action to upgrade the energy efficiency of fuel-poor homes and the Government’s work to drive demand for energy efficiency measures within able to pay households. The inquiry will also look at what progress is being made to improve the energy efficiency of commercial and public buildings to ensure opportunities to boost growth and productivity are being harnessed.

Chair's comments

Rachel Reeves MP, Chair of the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee, said:

"Improving the energy efficiency of buildings plays a crucial role in tackling fuel poverty and helping bring down energy bills for the most vulnerable customers. Energy efficiency is vital to cutting the costs of energy for homes and businesses and is a cost-effective method of reducing our carbon emissions. In spite of this, and the inclusion of energy efficiency targets in the Clean Growth Strategy, the current rate of improvements to buildings is far too slow.
 
Our inquiry will examine the Government’s approach to energy efficiency, whether it is showing enough ambition in helping to tackle fuel poverty and in encouraging homeowners, businesses and landlords to upgrade. We will also be keen to explore the additional measures which may be needed to deliver energy efficiency improvements that could bring significant benefits for individuals, the economy and the environment."

The inquiry comes ahead of next year’s spending review and the Government revising the fuel poverty strategy.

The National Infrastructure Commission has recommended that the Government should be installing 21,000 energy efficiency measures a week by 2020, although current rates are just 9,000 a week.

Send a written submission

The Committee is inviting 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?

Send a written submission to the BEIS Committee inquiry on energy efficiency.

The deadline for written submissions is 17 January 2019.

Further information

Image: Creative Commons

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