Why was building energy efficiency missing from Budget 2015?

  • 25 Mar 2015

GUEST BLOG

Chris Hall, Chief Executive, BRUFMA

British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers Association (BRUFMA)

THE 2015 BUDGET – WHERE WAS BUILDING ENERGY EFFICIENCY?

Nearly five years ago the coalition government outlined their plans to lead the greenest government ever but the latest 2015 budget did not mention climate change and has been a disappointment and a missed opportunity for encouraging energy efficiency in our homes and buildings.

While there was some positive green news in the budget with cheaper sources of energy such as the Swansea Bay Tidal Lagoon project, the government has focused on the supply side and ignored the EU suggestion that energy efficiency is seen as a fuel source in its own right. With 40% of the UKs energy consumption and carbon emissions coming from the way our buildings are lit, heated and used, demand reduction through energy saving measures is a key driver towards cutting our greenhouse gas emissions.

Of course the new ISA for first time buyers will stimulate housebuilding, in time, at the right level and should result in more energy efficient homes, but the government should still be championing a balanced approach between cheaper sources of energy and incentives for energy efficiency. None of that was evident in this budget. After all, Government research has suggested that if we cut our energy use by 30% we could save more than a staggering andpound;12 billion in reduced bills by improving energy efficiency. Extending and improving the Green Deal scheme and focusing on whole house retrofit of existing homes would certainly help as would reducing or removing VAT on all insulation.

Properly insulated homes and buildings can easily be remedied and at a low cost and this will have an enormous impact on our energy usage. UK insulation standards for our new buildings still fall behind our best practice European counterparts.

Its simple – the UK throws away nearly a third of the energy we use so implementing energy efficiency measures has to be the single most important step the government could take to reduce our carbon emissions now – and generally it would save more money than it costs, and at the same time stimulate employment growth.

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Guest Blog by Chris Hall, Chief Executive, BRUFMA

BRUFMA (British Rigid Urethane Foam Manufacturers Association) is the representative body for the Rigid Polyisocyanurate (PIR) and Polyurethane (PUR) Insulation Industry in the United Kingdom. Its membership comprises all of the major companies in the industry, including manufacturers of finished products, suppliers of the various raw materials and associated services

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