The Committee on Climate Change (CCC) published a paper on 13 April 2017 providing independent advice to the Welsh Government on the design of their carbon targets.
The Welsh Government has enacted legislation requiring that, before the end of 2018, they set in regulation interim emissions targets to 2040, and carbon budgets to 2025.
The CCC’s report provides advice on the form of future emissions reduction targets and the accounting framework. A second report, due in October 2017, will cover the level of ambition for future carbon targets and specific opportunities to decarbonise.
Key points in the report relevant to energy performance in buildings include:
- “In 2014, the level of emissions in Wales was around 18% below 1990. That, however, compares to around a 36% reduction across the UK as a whole. We [the CCC] will therefore need to look carefully at where the opportunities are to go further.”
- “Wales accounts for 9% of UK-wide emissions, but only around 5% of UK population.”
- “We recommend that all targets…are expressed relative to 1990 emission levels (i.e. as percentage reductions), rather than on an absolute (i.e. megatonne) basis.”
- “Direct emissions from buildings are down 32% on 1990 levels. The Welsh Government’s Arbed and Nest schemes have been successful in delivering energy efficiency measures to over 45,000 households.”
- “While the EU ETS provides an incentive to undertake some incremental improvements in energy efficiency it looks unlikely to drive the more significant measures that will be required.”
The Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE) published a National Needs Assessment (NNA) on 19 October 2016.
The NNA “brought together a coalition including industry, investors, environmental, legal and professional bodies, and politicians and opinion formers to deliver a 35 year view of the changing demands on infrastructure services.” The NNA finds that the energy, transport and digital sectors will “have the greatest impact on people’s lives in 2050 and steps need to be taken now to address challenges.”
On energy efficiency the report recommends that “Government and Ofgem should take a more proactive role in enabling a smarter energy system as a way to reduce the need for major new power projects and thereby reduce costs for consumers. The Government should establish a clear policy for reduction of energy demand in households and businesses and introduce consistent schemes to enable these reductions.”
Read the full report at National Needs Assessment – A Vision for UK Infrastructure
The Scottish Government published ”A Plan for Scotland – The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2016-17″ on 6 September 2016.
Amongst other policies, the plan confirms the intention to bring forward a major Scottish Energy Efficiency Programme (SEEP) supported by capital funding. The Scottish Government says the “SEEP delivers our commitment to make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority, boosting energy efficiency investment in Scotland and decarbonising heat provision over the long term.”
The Government will make available “more than £0.5 billion over the next four years for energy efficiency and combating fuel poverty” which will support “around 4,000 jobs a year once the programme is fully operational”.
Next steps include a series of pilots with local authorities, the creation of an Energy Strategy, and the introduction of regulation to underpin elements of the programme.
See the full plan at A Plan for Scotland – The Government’s Programme for Scotland 2016-17
Bright Blue, an independent think tank and pressure group for liberal conservatism, published a report “Better Homes – Incentivising Home Energy Improvements” on 31 August 2016.
The authors set out why homes in the UK need to consume less and greener energy so that important targets for reducing carbon emissions are achieved. The report considers how the Government sought to incentivise home energy improvements by creating the Green Deal in 2013, but with the closure of that scheme, finds there is now a policy vacuum.
The report examines the current market in energy efficiency measures and decentralised renewable technologies, the possible reasons for the Green Deal’s failure, and concludes with a series of recommendations for stimulating the market, including a new home energy improvement scheme in the “able to pay sector”.
See the full report at Better Homes – Incentivising Home Energy Improvements
The CBI published a short report on 5 February 2016 setting out advice on how to overcome the so called ”hassle factor” sometimes associated with retrofitting homes. This would allow more consumers to take advantage of the energy efficiency opportunity.
The report notes that disruption in the home, or the
time and effort it takes to find accurate information or appropriate finance can create barriers to uptake.
A key message in the report is that government and industry frameworks should encourage “households to consider energy efficiency at timely trigger points and provide consumers with accurate information and access to finance, at the right time.”
The CBI highlights that “According to the Office for National Statistics, spending on home alterations and improvements was £24.00 per week in 2014, compared with £17.70 in 2013. At a time where the Repairs, Maintenance and Improvements (RMI) market is accelerating, this is an important trigger point to help consumers engage in the energy efficiency agenda and that should not be overlooked.”
Source: CBI, Overcoming the Hassle Factor