The housing sector may have been diverted onto other issues at present, but a Sustainable Homes event ‘Lean & Green’, found that, despite recent announcements, landlords were improving energy efficiency by focusing on the positives, realising efficiencies that also happened to be green – rather than the other way around. Simon Brandon reports.
New energy standards for home boilers entering into force this month are expected to take offline the equivalent of 47 Fukushima-type nuclear power stations in Europe by 2020, according to the European Environmental Bureau (EEB).
Image courtesy of Rockwool
The last few weeks have been something of a whirlwind for energy efficiency, with announcements coming almost every day – mainly telling us what will not now happen, rather than what will. Reference has been made to the Energy Company Obligation ‘continuing to provide support’, but, pointedly, adding ‘this year’. What is almost certain is that ECO will not remain in its current form.
We always knew that the new Government’s first priority was not going to be clean air or the environment. It is though still surprising to see the brazen way in which it is being downplayed, especially as we are told the Government still supports the global 2 degree climate change target. Does it? Can it square the circle? Let’s have a look at the impact of yesterday’s Budget announcements.
The Conservative party manifesto pledge was to offer 1 million people the Right to Buy their social housing homes. Government seem committed to this policy. There are significant ramifications for our sector.
Sue Chalkley OBE, chief executive of SHIFT landlord Hastoe Housing Association, has spent some time considering the impact on rural communities. Here we bring you her thoughts on the topic.
It is quite easy to argue that this government has backtracked on their commitments to environmental issues. One policy with continued support though is the commitment for new build homes to be built to zero carbon from 2016.
The commitment to a far reaching goal for new build homes is impressive. It compares starkly with policy towards existing homes, where funding to improve the UK’s leakiest homes (the energy company obligation) was dismantled at short notice. There are four key opportunities to improve the zero carbon policy as it stands.
We know there are already cases of homes overheating in the UK and that the incidence and severity is likely to worsen as our climate changes. What we don’t know is how much of a concern overheating is within the mainstream energy efficiency and construction sectors and whether organisations are already gearing up to address this issue.