The report demonstrates the urgent need to increase the pace and scale of investment into the energy efficiency and resilience of UK residential buildings and sets out a portfolio of financial solutions to catalyse take-up on a national scale, with the potential to contribute substantially to a post-Covid-19 green and inclusive economic recovery.
The UK’s building stock is responsible for approximately 30% of the country’s total greenhouse gas emissions, and the failure to decarbonise our built environment could result in a 40% shortfall to our economy-wide decarbonisation targets by 2030. Meeting the UK-wide target for as many homes as possible to achieve an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of C by 2035 will require a total investment in energy efficiency upgrades of up to £65 billion.
The Green Finance Institute is confident, however, that a synergy can be forged between the parallel needs of lowering emissions and rebooting the economy in response to the coronavirus pandemic: firstly, the scale of works necessary will support more than 150,000 skilled and semi-skilled workers across the hard-hit construction supply chain, especially in areas already facing higher levels of unemployment and higher energy bills; secondly, energy efficiency upgrades are relatively quick to install, meaning investment can be stimulated rapidly; and thirdly, the resulting household energy cost savings can translate into increased consumer spending, thereby supporting the wider recovery.
The Coalition found that each housing tenure analysed – owner-occupied, private-rented and social-rented – had distinct decision-makers with specific barriers to retrofit, many of which connect to the lack of attractive or available finance.