Why was the report published?
Over the past year and a half, the construction industry has seen many rules and regulations set out by the UK Government, including changes to approved Building Regulations documents. (Find out more about that here.)
But despite the influx of new policies, the Sustainable Energy Association has recognised that there are gaps that must be addressed if the UK is to become Net-Zero by 2050, as outlined in UK Government policy.
“The SEA welcomes the monumental shift in the UK Government’s focus, with Net Zero placed firmly on the policy agenda. It is a major step in the right direction. However, there are still numerous gaps that need to be addressed to help us realise this vision.”
What does the report say?
The report identifies four main areas of sustainability for the UK Government to focus on. Within these four main areas, the SEA outlines several recommendations for what must be done to help the UK become Net-Zero by 2050 in the construction industry.
“To ‘go Net-Zero’ is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and/or to ensure that any ongoing emissions are balanced by removals.”
The four main areas are:
- Address the Able to Pay Sector
Over 60% of existing homes are owner-occupied and are not fuel-poor. The SEA says that energy efficiency is the most effective long-term solution to prevent more houses from succumbing to fuel poverty. Read the SEA’s Addressing the Able to Pay Sector Report for more information.
- Consumer and Supply Chain Knowledge & Skills
There is still a significant lack of consumer and installer knowledge about low-carbon technologies compared to traditional fossil fuel heating systems. The SEA says that there needs to be a commitment to provide independent consumer advice through a ‘one-stop shop’. Also, installers in the construction industry should be trained using a holistic approach.
- Technology Agnostic Approach and Innovation
SEA insists that low-carbon technologies and energy efficiency measures that meet the demands of the building and lead to the right outcomes should be supported by Government schemes.
- and Long-Term, Joined-up Policy
Many of the gaps in the current Government policies to achieve Net-Zero could be solved by employing long-term or consistent policy techniques.
“The Government and Industry must work together to form a definitive National Buildings Retrofit Plan, setting out the policies and programmes required to improve the energy efficiency of our buildings, with realistic timescales for implementation, and which places energy efficiency at the heart of the UK’s Net-Zero target.”
What does this mean for me?
Keeping up-to-date with UK Government Policies is always a good idea to make sure your business practices are legal and effective. While the SEA’s report isn’t a legal Government document, it shows us that even more regulation changes could – and should – be coming our way.