Wetherby Building Systems has revealed, ahead of the Autumn statement that the UK construction industry does not have confidence in the current Government to deliver an effective energy efficiency programme.
In a recent survey of contractors, consultants, architects and installers, only 5% of respondents said they have confidence in the current government to deliver a genuine energy efficiency programme that improves energy efficiency and tackles fuel poverty.
It seems uncertainty is rife among the construction industry with more than three quarters of those surveyed citing they are currently confused about government energy efficiency schemes, with a further 22% admitting they are uncertain what is in place once the current ECO period ends.
The lack of faith in the current government was further compounded as almost half believe the biggest barrier to an effective energy efficiency scheme being launched is that the government does not understand the issues surrounding the UK’s aging housing stock. While energy companies continue to be viewed as the enemy, with 41% citing ‘energy companies’ as the reason for a lack of progress in energy efficiency policy.
When asked what the government needs to think about when planning the new Fuel Poverty Obligation (FPO) the message from the industry was clear, attacking the current scheme, in which energy companies met their targets very early on in the programme. More than half stated the government needs to set minimum targets that ensure energy companies carry out efficiency projects at a maintained level through the duration of the period.
Revealing a need to ensure support is given to those that need it the most, half of those surveyed also urged the government to ensure sufficient funding is made available for vulnerable households. While almost a third want to see measures prioritised that provide the biggest energy savings and, interestingly, 19% called for local authorities to be given control over funding.
Commenting on its latest research, Barrie Stanley, energy efficiency manager from Wetherby Building Systems, said: “These latest findings come just before the Autumn Statement and it is clear the industry wants clarity and commitment from the Government for a new energy efficiency scheme that will genuinely tackle fuel poverty and reduce our carbon emissions.
“There is so much confusion in the industry and contractors, installers, suppliers and manufactures that supply the energy efficiency industry have no certainty in regards to future projects. Any future funding needs to have long term visibility, it is impossible for anyone, from housing associations and local authorities through to the supply chain, to plan energy efficiency projects when the funding tap keeps getting turned on & off.”
“The government needs to listen to the industry and invest significantly in improving the energy efficiency of the country’s aging housing stock, focussing its efforts on the vulnerable households that need it.”