The UK Chancellor has unveiled a huge package of measures to spark a ‘green recovery with concern for the environment at its heart’.
Under his programme to boost the economy following damage caused by the extensive lockdown period, Rishi Sunak announced that from September, every household can apply for a £5,000 voucher under a £3billion drive for ‘greener’ homes, hospitals and schools to support 140,000 jobs.
In his mini-Budget, he confirmed a £2billion Green Homes Grant for homeowners and landlords to access grants up to £5,000 for insulation and other energy efficiency measures.
Some of the lowest income households will get the full costs of energy efficiency refits paid up to £10,000.
Eligible improvements to be offered include wall-to-wall insulation, energy efficient boilers, double or triple-glazed windows, low-energy lighting and insulated doors.
The funding also includes £1billion to improve energy efficiency and low carbon heating in schools, hospitals, prisons, military bases and other public buildings and £50 million for projects to cut carbon from social housing.
The scheme is to be launched in September when online applications will be accepted for the recommended home improvements, as well as details for accredited local suppliers.
Households will then be sent vouchers which can be used at the suppliers.
Mr Sunak said that his new measures would make 650,000 homes more energy-efficient, save households up to £300 on their annual bills, cut carbon emissions by 500,000 tonnes and support 140,000 jobs. They will also fast track the UK’s plans to achieve Net Zero status by 2050.
In addition, £5.8 billion will be spent on what the Government describes as ‘shovel-ready’ construction projects to get Britain building following the peak of the COVID-19 pandemic. This includes:
£1.5 billion for hospital maintenance and upgrades
£100 million for our local roads network
More than £1 billion to start to rebuild schools in the worst condition in England, plus £760 million this year for key maintenance work on schools and FE colleges
Syntegra MD Alan King said “the company stands ready to work on any appropriate projects once commissioning starts in the Autumn.”
He said: “Now the coronavirus health crisis has entered a new stage in terms of at least passing the peak and arguably at a stable level, the shift clearly is now on the economic crisis ahead. The Chancellor’s latest announcement to reignite the Green economy is welcome by us from a climate change perspective and also economically for the construction sector and to help reduce fuel poverty.”
“This will certainly help with bringing the UK building stock up to standard and accelerate the MEES agenda for the better. Naturally, with our extensive experience in this field, we look forward to working with clients advising on the best way forward to enhance their environmental footprint.”
Umer Uzair, Syntegra’s Director Energy & Sustainability, said: “As the industry experts in energy and sustainability, we welcome the recent economic incentives announced by the Government and hope to see the positive shift in green development.”
“From the verge of Coronavirus as a nation, we understand the importance of building standards to stimulate the health and wellbeing aspects of our living standards. This also includes the fundamental surrounding issues like air quality, overheating, noise, daylighting etc. and strong building regulations will play a vital role in the growth of the green economy.”
“The London Plan is heading towards the zero-carbon target and most local authorities are declaring a climate emergency, therefore the team at Syntegra is well placed to help with its years of experience on helping clients towards the vital sustainability goals.”
Sean Tobin, Partner (Member) at property and construction consultants John Rowan & Partners, said: “Heading towards 2050 with a road map in achieving the zero carbon goal is an aspirational Government ambition that can be supported by collaboration with the construction sector.”
“The opportunity to partner with likeminded sectors and organisations will be key in achieving our collective objectives in confronting climate change by working together to standardise & digitalise our approach to sustainable measures.”
“With the Government’s announcement of further funding being available to stimulate the green agenda, it is evident that green shoots are emerging, purporting that we must all take forward our responsibility to deliver a better and cleaner future for current and future generations. At John Rowan & Partners we are always looking to drive through sustainable efficiencies through the construction industry and now with Government financial backing and support it is the peak time to put actions in place.”
“Thomas Farrell, Partner at John Rowan & Partners would be delighted to work in partnership with our clients and Syntegra to support compilation of funding bids to maximise the financial opportunity, package up work programmes and strategically and operationally deliver works that reduce carbon emissions on our clients’ property portfolios. Combined with making carbon savings, we can also support further social benefits through job creation, increase wellbeing and community engagement.”
Max Halliwell, Communications Manager at Mitsubishi Electric said: “The announcement from the Chancellor today signals that the Government has heard and understands the role that renewable heating, power and green measures will have in helping build Britain back up post the COVID-19 crisis. The measures outlined by the Chancellor go some way to addressing this.”
“In addition to these measures, the installation of renewable heating technologies, such as heat pumps, up and down the country will not only help homeowners reduce their own carbon emissions from home heating, but provide valuable jobs creation as plumbers, installers, manufacturers and apprentices upskill and reskill in a technology that is going to be vital for future homes.”
“Considering the aspirational targets that have been discussed by the Committee for Climate Change to have a million heat pumps installed by 2030, the UK heat pump market could play a considerable part in the country’s economic recovery.”
“However, it’s important to note that the ambition needs to grow. We need to rapidly move on to a wider expansion of this for the many, many off-grid households dependent on oil, LPG and other properties using aging gas systems elsewhere, if we are to tackle the 40% of UK carbon emissions generated by home heating.”
Environmental campaigners welcomed the Chancellor’s announcement but asked for further commitments to ensure the country’s economic recovery is driven by green policies.
Rosie Rogers, from Greenpeace UK, said: “All roads must now lead to a green recovery – there is no alternative option. An initial cash injection in green ‘shovel ready’ projects would create hundreds of thousands of new jobs, almost immediately, right across the country, while making transport greener, homes warmer, energy bills lower and restoring nature.”
Chris Venables, head of politics at Green Alliance, said: “Today’s speech could mark a really positive first step on the green recovery, but only if this ambition is continued throughout the rest of the year, and particularly in the autumn budget.”
“We urgently need to see a clear funding strategy for supporting public transport in its time of crisis, a long-term strategy to ensure all buildings are warm and cheap to run, reversing the catastrophic declines in nature, and investing in the technology of the future.”
Syntegra Group along with our strategic partners are ready to provide turnkey solutions to facilitate the successful implementation of energy efficiency improvement programmes utilising the grant across both private housing stock and social housing portfolios.