Builders' Merchants News
Green Deal is welcome, but ‘no silver bullet’, property industry warns
Published:  19 January, 2012

UK: The property industry has welcomed the Government’s flagship energy-saving initiative but warned that on its own it is unlikely to deliver the revolution in energy-efficiency that is needed for the UK to meet its emission targets.

The British Property Federation (BPF) has urged government to take action to bolster the Green Deal by:

  • providing additional fiscal incentives to help make the scheme more attractive;
  • sanctioning a roll-out of Display Energy Certificates;
  • giving greater clarity on how the energy-efficiency regulations on privately rented property, which are to be brought in from 2016 and 2018, will work.

It is expected that the regulations will outlaw the letting of all F and G EPC-rated properties (domestic and non-domestic) from 2018 and will allow tenants in privately rented domestic property to request energy-efficiency improvements from 2016, subject to the improvements being financeable through the Green Deal.

However, the detail of the regulations are to be set out in secondary legislation at a later date. The BPF feels a clear road map could help foster interest in the Green Deal by tapping into fear of obsolescence.

Tackling energy performance in existing commercial buildings is crucial because over 90% of non-domestic stock was built before 1986 when requirements for better thermal performance began to be introduced.

Much of the stock built before then is relatively poor by today’s standards. With annual replacement rates of only 1 to 2%, around 60% of the existing stock will be with us in 2050.

Liz Peace, chief executive of the British Property Federation, said: “Tackling energy performance in existing buildings is a crucial, but so far neglected element of any credible strategy to reduce energy demand and for mitigating the climate impact of property.

“It is clear that in non-domestic buildings, the Green Deal will not result in the level of change required by 2050. Additional fiscal incentives may be required to attract both owners and occupiers to participate amongst competing commercial and legal issues.

“If fiscal incentives are the carrot then government must also clarify its stock approach by giving greater detail on the introduction of minimum standards as soon as possible. This will  give the industry enough time to gear up, with a clear idea of the Government’s intentions, going forward.”