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Government criticised for lacklustre Energy Efficiency Strategy

New Energy Efficiency Strategy is ‘not going to be a silver bullet solution for our energy woes’ says industry

Launched yesterday (November 12), the government’s much-anticipated plans to cut energy use in housing, manufacture and transport was criticised for failing to spell out how the built environment could contribute and for lacking in new investment opportunities to drive green growth.

Paul King from the UK-GBC said: ‘The Energy Efficiency Strategy has always been clear that energy efficiency offers massive opportunities to create jobs, save carbon, slash fuel bills and help get the economy moving.’

‘However, what has been less clear is how to turn these opportunities into concerted action. It is disappointing, then, that the Strategy tells us much of what we already know about existing policies, but does not provide much new impetus to really drive investment in energy efficiency. What we need is a long term policy trajectory, together with clarity on how this will be achieved, in order to create the “investment grade” policy that investors require.’

Director at WSP Environmental and Energy, David Symons, said: ‘These measures will take time to have an impact. The frustration is that there are plenty of measures that would have a more immediate effect like providing a stamp duty rebate for energy efficiency in homes, or the strengthening, and better enforcing, of building regulations.

There are plenty of measures that would have a more immediate effect

‘The projections for savings also need to be considered within context - demand is set to increase significantly, uncertainty typifies renewable investment and the nuclear programme continues to be delayed. These measures should be welcomed but they’re not going to be a silver bullet solution for our energy woes.’

However energy minister, Greg Barker said: ‘We have put energy efficiency at the very heart of the Government’s energy policy. Using energy more wisely is absolutely vital in a world of increased pressure on resources and rising prices. Not only can energy efficiency help save money on bills and cut emissions, it can support green jobs, innovation and enterprise.

‘This is Britain’s first comprehensive Energy Efficiency Strategy and sets out the action we are taking now, as well as what we will do in the future to ensure the UK continues to be a global leader in reducing energy use.’

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