Joanne Wade: The Clean Growth Strategy has lots of details to be worked out (hence the plethora of consultations), but nevertheless offered some very positive developments for the energy efficiency sector. Ambitions were set out: a 20% improvement in business energy efficiency by 2030; as many homes as possible to reach at least EPC Band C by 2035; and public sector leadership through new central Government binding targets and a voluntary target for the wider public sector and education to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 30% by 2021. These ambitions are a good start: but is a 20% improvement in business energy efficiency enough to drive productivity up to the levels Government is looking for? Possibly not. Is EPC C by 2035 a sensible target for homes? Yes it is, but only with the understanding that it needs to be the vast majority of homes and that eventually we will have to go further. And why is the target for the wider public sector only a voluntary one, when energy managers in the sector are clear that a mandatory target is what is needed to drive investment? A very good start but not, yet, enough. So, are we now moving in the right direction, and moving far enough and fast enough? If you had asked me to rate the Government at the start of 2017, I’d have given them an ‘F’. I think that now, in January 2018, they might get a ‘C’. Heading in the right direction? Yes. But a C is not enough to ensure that we go far enough and fast enough; to ensure that we can grasp the prize that better energy performance offers.
Edie 17th Jan 2018 read more »