Government's green growth strategy pledges to boost energy performance of housing

Strengthening the energy performance of new and existing homes is one of the key measures set out in the government's Clean Growth Strategy, published this week.

Natural environment: strategy intended to cut carbon while driving economic cgrowth
Natural environment: strategy intended to cut carbon while driving economic cgrowth

The strategy, launched yesterday by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, sets out how the government will continue to deliver carbon reductions set out in the 2008 Climate Change Act, while continuing to drive economic growth.

The strategy says the government will improve the energy efficiency of homes, by upgrading homes and consulting on strengthening energy performance standards for new and existing homes under Building Regulations.

"This will look to ensure that new homes are future-proofed for the installation of lower carbon heating systems where this is cost-effective and affordable," it says.

"This will help to phase out high carbon fossil fuels in the future, starting with homes off the gas grid."

New methods in construction, including factory production and off-site manufacturing "may help us build new energy efficient homes more quickly and more cheaply", it adds.

The strategy also includes a range of measures to accelerate the shift to low carbon transport. It says the government will "develop one of the best electric vehicle charging networks in the world".

The government will announce plans for the public sector to lead the way in transitioning to zero emissions vehicles, it says, and it will invest £1.2 billion "to make cycling and walking the natural choice for shorter journeys."

Other elements of the strategy include investment in further reducing the cost of renewable energy, phasing out the installation of high carbon heating in new and existing businesses and the establishment of a new network of forests in England.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark said the government had "put clean growth at the heart of its Industrial Strategy to increase productivity, boost people’s earning power and ensure Britain continues to lead the world in efforts to tackle climate change".

"It is great to see this long-awaited strategy setting out the government’s ambitions for clean growth," said Shaun Spiers, executive director of environmental think tank Green Alliance.

"The test now will be to embed the strategy across government and encourage investment in clean growth by giving businesses the certainty they need."

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