UK Government launches £3bn retrofit programme

The Green Homes Grant programme aims to encourage homeowners to retrofit their homes to make them more environmentally friendly.

The government has launched its £3bn funding schemes to help retrofit buildings across the UK to make them greener.

Around £1bn will be funnelled into boosting the energy efficiency of public buildings, including schools and hospitals, through a Public Sector Decarbonisation Fund.

The remaining £2bn will be available to help private homeowners upgrade the energy performance of homes, using TrustMark-registered installers.

An extra £50m will fund social housing through a demonstrator project for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

This UK-wide demonstrator scheme will see grants supplied to upgrade the energy efficiency of over 2,000 of the worst-performing social homes.

The entire programme is expected to support 120,000 construction jobs.

But Richard McWilliams, sustainability director at Turner & Townsend, said the focus should be on shifting to the use of modern methods of construction rather than simply creating jobs.

He said: "While a focus on job creation is wholly understandable in the current climate, it actually undermines the drive to create a long-term market for industrialised retrofit, especially for homes.

"Only by shifting to this approach will we be able to deliver retrofit at scale and meet our climate targets."

Brian Berry, chief executive of the Federation of Master Builders, added the programme needed to be more forward looking.

He said: "The government needs to commit to a long term retrofit strategy if it is serious about achieving its net zero carbon target by 2050. 85% of our existing homes will still be standing in 2050 which is why it is very important that we make our homes more energy efficient."

The plan forms part of the government's wider efforts to ensure the UK meets its legally binding target to reach net zero emissions by 2050.

Article source: Building
Author: Jordan Marshall

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Environment Sustainability