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Scotland and Ireland energy efficiency point the way

Neil Mearns Senior Writer

The Commons BEIS Committee published its report Energy Efficiency: Building Towards Net Zero on 12 July, concluding that a “major upgrade of the energy performance of the UK’s entire building stock will be a fundamental pillar of any credible strategy to reach net zero emissions, to address fuel poverty and cut energy bills”. In this comment we look at the measures being implemented in Ireland and Scotland and conclude the BEIS Committee is right to call for an over-haul of policy, especially south of the border. Aspect Committee members recommended that the average annual rate at which homes undertake significant energy performance improvements in the UK needs to increase by a factor of seven. It also recommended that BEIS strongly make the case to the Treasury ahead of the autumn Spending Review to guarantee adequate investment to resuscitate efforts to meet the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) target to upgrade as many houses to Band C by 2035 “where practical, cost-effective and affordable”. Following this, on 22 July, BEIS published a Call for Evidence on barriers and new routes to markets for energy efficiency. It is seeking views on how to leverage current markets to facilitate energy efficiency, the design of new markets and mechanisms to support energy efficiency, and the benefits of combining energy efficiency and flexibility. This in turn builds on a previous Call for Evidence, a summary of responses to which was published 2 July. They broadly agreed about the lack of regulatory drivers to support ...

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