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UK-GBC releases new guidance on carbon emissions

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The UK Green Building Council (UK-GBC) handed a report to government yesterday outlining recommendations to lower CO2 emissions and increase ‘green collar’ jobs.

The report includes consultation work from government agencies, pressure groups and around 1,000 organisations, and sets guidelines on how to achieve a major reduction in household CO2 emissions, lowering ‘spiralling’ energy bills and creating jobs in the home-refurbishment market.

The government part-funded the research in advance of the Low Carbon Homes strategy it committed to recently.

The report's top five recommendations are:

1. Government should commit to at least an 80 per cent cut in CO2 from UK households by 2050, with interim targets every five years along the way.

2. Householders should have access to a Whole Home Energy Plan – a plan for how to do low-carbon refurbishment, and which measures should be taken out, when.

3. There needs to be a fundamentally new way for consumers to fund energy efficiency improvements to their home, spreading the cost of upfront measures over time, saving money on energy bills straight away.

4. There needs to be a big push to train builders and tradesmen, to give them the skills needed to carry out green refurbishment projects at the same time as standard building work. This is a potentially huge area of jobs and growth – potentially a £5 billion market per year creating tens of thousands of jobs.

5. Government should consult on whether regulation should be used to ensure the worst performing homes are upgraded over time. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) could be used as the basis for this.

Paul King, chief executive of the UK-GBC, said: ‘For too long we've been throwing our money out of the window, either indifferent about our energy bills, or completely turned off by the hassle and upfront cost of energy-efficiency improvements.

‘Spiralling fuel costs and concern about climate change now call for a revolution in attitude and approach – we can and must make it easy and affordable for everyone to slash their household bills and carbon emissions.’

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