The Government has announced it intends to at least halve the energy use of new buildings in the UK by 2030, as one of the ‘Grand Challenge missions’ of its Industrial Strategy. The chairman of the Committee on Climate Change, Lord Deben, has welcomed the announcement, and highlighted the importance of tougher building standards and effective enforcement of those standards.
The provision of heating and hot water for buildings make up around 40% of the UK’s energy consumption and 20% of its greenhouse gas emissions. It will be necessary to largely eliminate these emissions by around 2050 to meet the targets in the Climate Change Act and to maintain the UK contribution to international action under the Paris Agreement.
New buildings will make up around one in five of UK buildings in 2050. Measures are therefore also needed to reduce the energy use of the UK’s existing building stock, through improved insulation and low-carbon heating.
In response to the Government’s announcement Lord Deben said: “The CCC has been a strong advocate of further action to reduce energy use in UK buildings. We therefore welcome yesterday’s announcement by the Prime Minister to set a new ‘mission’ in this area. We understand that the new programme will be aimed at ensuring all new homes are highly energy efficient and built with low-carbon heat by 2030. We hope these homes will also be prepared for a changing climate, for example, through passive cooling measures.
“There is more for Government to do in this area, particularly in setting tougher building standards and implementing effective enforcement for those standards. We welcome this development, however. The Committee looks forward to further details of how the proposals will be delivered.”
See our report: Next Steps for UK Heat Policy