To Gas Or Not To Gas
The Spring Statement was widely expected to announce that new homes should be gas-free by 2025. In the end, it didn’t go quite that far, but moves are afoot.
It is great to see a renewed focus on improving the energy efficiency of housing. If we accept that carbon dioxide emissions are contributing to climate change then we HAVE to do something about our housing stock.
The depressing conclusion from the Committee for Climate Change report in February (UK Housing: Fit for the Future?) was that housing in the UK is actually contributing more now to CO2 emissions than ever.
It goes on to outline a number of changes that could improve the performance of new homes including that eyebrow-raising ambition to prevent any new homes being connected to the gas grid after 2025.
It’s an ambition that, if enshrined in legislation should certainly speed up the development low-carbon alternatives.
However, I think we can safely predict an outcry from various interested groups that would prevent this ambition being enshrined in any kind of legislation.
It was widely anticipated to appear in the Spring Statement this week but, in the end, did not make the cut. Instead, the Chancellor alluded to a “Future Homes Standard” that aims to support the target of halving the energy use of new buildings.
Great to see that energy efficiency performance is back on the agenda, but it would be absurd if the focus on new build were not backed up with an even stronger drive to reduce the energy consumption of existing houses, which, after all, make up the vast majority of UK homes.
Consistency would be excellent. Is it too much to expect successive governments to commit to meaningful targets that actually produce results?