Passivhaus Affiliate

Good start to UK's Green Recovery

The Trust is pleased to see the Government recognise that energy-efficient buildings can rapidly reduce emissions at scale and provide new green job opportunities across the industry. This has been backed by a £3 billion green investment package in today’s summer budget announcement from the UK Chancellor.

It is essential that this package achieves maximum value by requiring every grant to include a whole-building retrofit plan, that is undertaken by a qualified Retrofit Co-ordinator, who will sign off that any measures implemented are in line with the whole-building plan and are in line with PAS 2030/2035/2038 requirements. Without this many of these measures will need to be re-done or improved before 2050 and if done badly, some could actually lead to long-term damage to the building.

The Passivhaus standard provides a ‘shovel ready’ methodology of delivering such a whole-building plan that can provide energy-efficiency measures which do not suffer from a performance gap and also significantly improve occupant comfort & wellbeing. 

 

Details

The £2 billion green homes grant to upgrade over 600,000 homes is a good start and we now call for clear, stable, and well-designed implementation framework without delay. A ‘whole-building approach’ is essential to successful retrofit to avoid costly unintended consequences. Siloed insulation upgrades can cause issues with condensation, mould, and poor indoor air quality.

Retrofit: Complex inter-related issues

 

Who carries out the works?

Retrofit is complex, therefore, it is essential that the works should be overseen by suitably qualified retrofit-coordinators and experienced practitioners.  

 

Incentives

The £1 billion investment allocated in a Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme is not nearly ambitious enough.

Temporary cuts to stamp duty are in place until 31st March 2021, however, it is disappointing that VAT cuts for deep green retrofits have not been adopted. This would help incentivise demand & strengthen the supply chain of these crucial works to meet decarbonisation targets. Please sign the petition.

We hope that some of the funding allocated to supporting training & apprenticeships can also be utilised to bolster the application of energy-efficient building works.  

 

Long-term ambition

£3 billion may appear a bountiful backing but the graphics below put into context the levels of commitment required to tackle the Climate Emergency and is still dwarfed by our continued investment in fossil fuel related infrastructure – for example, the £27 billion investment in roads. The Government must develop a long-term green investment plan if it is to meet 2050 zero-carbon targets and avoid a cash-grab legacy for the newly announced scheme.

Estimated annual investment to combat climate change

How does £5 billion look in context?

 

 

Plans for jobs

Read the full document here.

The plan will also create tens of thousands of jobs through bringing forward work on £8.8 billion of new infrastructure, decarbonisation and maintenance projects.

This includes a £3 billion green investment package that could help support around 140,000 green jobs and upgrade buildings and reduce emissions.

As part of this package homeowners and landlords in England will be able to apply for vouchers from a £2 billion Green Homes Grant scheme this year to pay for green improvements such as loft, wall and floor insulation that could save some households hundreds of pounds a year on their energy bills while creating thousands of jobs for tradespeople.

And a £1 billion programme will make public buildings, including schools and hospitals, greener, helping the country meet its ambitions of achieving Net Zero by 2050, whilst investing in our future prosperity.

In addition, £5.8 billion will be spent on shovel-ready construction projects to get Britain building. This includes:

  • £1.5 billion for hospital maintenance and upgrades
  • £100 million for our local roads network
  • over £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
  • £1 billion for local projects to boost local economic recovery in the places that need it most
  • £142 million for court maintenance to repair around 100 courts across England.

 

...We want people to feel confident to move, to buy, to sell, to renovate, and to improve their homes. So we’re introducing a temporary increase to the Nil Rate Band of Residential SDLT (Stamp Duty) from £125,000 to £500,000 until 31 March 2021. In England and Northern Ireland nearly 9 out of 10 people getting on or moving up the property ladder will pay no Stamp Duty at all. This will drive growth and support jobs across the housebuilding and property sectors.


 

The Chancellor said that following this second phase focusing on jobs, there will be a third phase focusing on rebuilding, with a Budget and Spending Review in the autumn.  This will see tens-of-billions investment into green capital infrastructure.

Join us on the 21st July to discuss green buildings in a green recovery in a free to attend online webinar.

 

Further Information

Rishi's Plan for Jobs will help Britain bounce back – 8 July 2020

A plan for jobs – 8 July

A New Deal for Britain – 30 June 2020

23rd July 2020: Green Buildings in a Green Recovery – Free webinar

Previous PHT story: Build Back Better – 4 June 2020

8th July 2020


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