Ministers Rishi Sunak, Alok Sharma roll out cleaner, greener homes plan

Ministers Rishi Sunak, Alok Sharma roll out cleaner, greener homes plan

Chancellor Rishi Sunak and Business Secretary Alok Sharma have set out a “biggest in a generation” £3-billion plan to upgrade the UK’s buildings to make them more energy efficient, greener and cheaper to run.

As part of the policy, the British Indian ministers said homeowners in England will be able to sign up to savings on upgrades to their homes under the government’s £2-billion Green Homes Grant, with an additional £1 billion allocated to improve the energy efficiency of publicly-owned buildings. The launch of the Green Homes Grant forms part of a wider plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings expected to support an additional 120,000 jobs.

Sunak said: “We promised to support jobs and protect the environment – and the Green Homes Grant delivers on this.

“We’re giving homeowners, landlords and local authorities the funding they need to hire local tradespeople and make our homes more energy efficient. By supporting the green van men and women, we’ll save money, save jobs and save the planet.”

Energy efficiency

The Green Homes Grant scheme will see the government fund up to two-thirds of the cost of home improvements up to £5,000, with a target to improve the energy efficiency of over 600,000 homes across England.

“Our plan to upgrade the nation’s buildings and help build back better is good news for jobs, the environment and people’s back pockets, as we reduce emissions and help cut energy bills,” said Sharma, who called on eligible people to sign up to the “fantastic scheme”.

The Department for Business, Energy & Industrial Strategy (BEIS) said grants will be offered to cover green home improvements ranging from insulation of walls, floors and roofs, to the installation of double or triple glazing when replacing single glazing, and low-carbon heating like heat pumps or solar thermal – measures that could help households save up to £600 a year on their energy bills. It will cut people’s energy bills and carbon emissions, whilst also supporting over 100,000 jobs in green construction for local plumbers, builders and tradespeople across the UK, the government stressed.

Social housing

BEIS also highlighted £50 million being made available for social or affordable housing through a "demonstrator project" for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund (SHDF).

“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 department said.

Over the past decade, the UK claims to have cut carbon emissions by more than any similar developed country. According to official data from last year, UK emissions were 42 per cent lower than in 1990, while the economy over the same period grew by 72 per cent.

by Nadia Hatink

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