The Builders Merchants Federation (BMF) has welcomed the Prime Minister’s blueprint for greener homes and buildings (announced 18 November) – but says more needs to be done to ensure the scheme leaves a lasting legacy for the UK’s housing stock.
The BMF says the government’s 10-point plan for a Green Industrial Revolution, which includes £1 billion next year to drive efficiencies in new and existing homes and public buildings, as well as a year-long extension to the Green Homes Grant voucher scheme, is a step in the right direction.
However, the Federation says that the approach needs to align with a broader, long-term strategy, to make a meaningful impact.
John Newcomb, chief executive officer of the BMF, said: “We pressed to extend the Green Homes Grant deadline following feedback from members that more time was required to allow people to plan their improvements and source a registered trader to undertake the work.
“While it is excellent news that the grant scheme has been extended, it cannot be a one-off initiative if the government is to achieve its aims both to improve energy efficiency and level up housing conditions throughout the country.”
John continued: “As a member of the Construction Leadership Council, we believe the route to achieve this is through a National Retrofit Strategy that would involve upgrading approximately 28 million properties to ensure the money spent makes a lasting difference to the quality of our homes.”
“We are presented with an enormous opportunity to move towards a low- or zero-carbon future in both homes and workplaces. If we can link this to a National Retrofit Strategy, then we can improve lives, create jobs, boost the economy and make greater inroads towards the government’s target of net zero emissions by 2050.”