Actuate UK calls for GHG overhaul
Actuate UK, the recently formed alliance of eight engineering service organisations, has backed calls from across the HVAC and construction sector for a rethink of the Green Homes Grant which was launched last year to fund energy efficiency improvement in homes.
The alliance said its members backed extending the overall lifetime of financial incentives offered through the scheme beyond its current end in 2022.
An initial budget of £2bn was set aside for the Green Homes Grant to provide vouchers to specifically accredited engineers to install heat pumps, insulation and other products able to support lower carbon heat in UK homes.
Actuate UK added that it was now calling for the full budget to remain in place until the current grant ends following reports that only £320m would be made available for vouchers during the final year of the scheme.
The alliance has also backed the creation of a ‘green building passport’ as part of any changes to the scheme to support homeowners to monitor work and renovations made in their property for the medium and long-term. The government is asked to eliminate VAT for energy efficiency related products as another change that would support the mains aims of the grant.
Hywel Davies, technical director at Actuate UK member CIBSE, said, “A short-term stimulus does not create the market shift required to achieve net zero targets, including the development of a suitably skilled workforce in key sectors. To invest in the necessary recruitment, training and technologies, businesses must know that government means business, and is in this for the long haul.”
Julia Evans of BSRIA, another alliance member, added, “We suggest that next week’s Budget is a huge opportunity for government to underline its commitment to building a green economy and recovery, especially ahead of the UK’s hosting COP26, and that this should include ongoing commitment to green residential retrofit”.