Sector leaders call on Sunak to take action ahead of Wednesday’s spring statement

The UK Green Building Council, along with leaders from 28 housing and construction bodies, have written to Rishi Sunak calling for measures to boost decarbonisation of homes ahead Wednesday’s spring budget. 


Source: UK Green Building Council

UKGBC chief executive Julie Hirigoyen

The letter calls for the government to prioritise energy efficiency in homes as a “national infrastructure investment priority”. Signatories include senior figures from Barratt, Clarion, Wilmott Dixon, Urban Splash, Wates, Igloo, Grosvenor, Aecom and Arup.

It calls on the government to fulfil outstanding funding commitments as part of the 2019 manifesto promise of £9.2bn in investment for green homes and buildings.

The letter also asks for the introduction of financial incentives, such as removing VAT on refurbishment work and low carbon heat services, along with variable stamp duty that can be adjusted according to the energy performance of a property.

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It calls for an expansion of the government’s boiler upgrade scheme, which is currently limited to 90,000 heat pump installations. The letter also asks for a successor to the green home grant scheme to help owner-occupiers decarbonise their homes.

Julie Hirigoyen, chief executive of UKGBC, said: “Energy bills are shooting up, leaving millions of households facing fuel poverty, and energy prices are likely to remain elevated for years.

“Making domestic energy efficiency a priority is not only the responsible thing to do for public finances, but it will help towards the government’s energy independence and levelling up agendas, not to mention accelerating our journey towards a net zero carbon economy.

See also>> Eight key takeaways from the Heat and Buildings Strategy

“The government must invest now in long term solutions to stop vast amounts of energy being wasted by heat leaking from the UK’s homes.”

Meanwhile, the Home Builders Federation has today published research from polling it commissioned showing three in four people are worried about the energy performance of their current home, with one in four saying energy efficiency will be crucial to their next home move.

Stewart Baseley, executive chairman of the Home Builders Federation, said: “Location, location, location’ has been the driving mantra of the UK home-movers for as long as we’ve known, but these results suggest we’re now entering the era of ‘location, location, insulation’, with energy efficiency becoming an ever more crucial factor in how we select our next home.”

The findings were based on the results of a survey of a weighted sample of 2,000 people carried out for HBF by polling company Opinion Matters.  

Who signed the letter?

Signatories of the letter include:

  • · Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive - UKGBC
  • · Richard Whitehead, Managing Director - Buildings + Places, Europe & India - AECOM
  • · Nigel Tonks, Sustainable Development Director ARUP
  • · David Partridge, Chairman - Argent Related
  • · Jason Sibthorpe, U.K. President - Avison Young
  • · David Thomas, Chief Executive - Barratt Developments PLC
  • · Rab Bennetts, Founder - Bennetts Associates
  • · Chris Oglesby, Group CEO - Bruntwood
  • · Ciaran Bird, Divisional President, Advisory Services, CEO UK & Ireland - CBRE
  • · Ray Upjohn, Chief Executive, chapmanbdsp
  • · Richard Cook, Group Director of Development - Clarion Housing Group
  • · Digby Flower, Chair UK & Ireland - Cushman & Wakefield
  • · Michael Lewis, CEO - E.ON UK plc
  • · Basil Demeroutis, Managing Partner - FORE Partnership
  • · Toby Courtauld, Chief Executive, GPE
  • · James Raynor, CEO, Grosvenor Property UK
  • · Lynda Shillaw, Chief Executive - Harworth Group PLC
  • · Chris Brown, Executive Chair - igloo Regeneration
  • · Stephanie Hyde, UK Chief Executive – JLL UK Ltd
  • · Mark Allan, CEO - Land Securities Group PLC
  • · Bill Hughes, Global Head of Real Assets - Real Assets, Legal & General Investment Management
  • · Sunand Prasad, Principal - Perkins&will
  • · Will Bax, Chief Executive - Retirement Villages Group
  • · Mark Robinson, Group Chief Executive - SCAPE
  • · Mark Kildea, CEO - The Howard de Walden Estate
  • · Mike Hood, Managing Director - U and I Group Limited
  • · Nathan Cornish, Group Board Director - Urban Splash
  • · David Allen, Chief Executive - Wates Group
  • · Rick Willmott, Chief Executive - Willmott Dixon