The UK’s energy efficiency policy framework has once again fallen under the spotlight, with a new survey suggesting the majority of green businesses believe current industry targets are not nearly as ambitious as they should be. A poll of Environmental Industry Commission (EIC) members published yesterday reveals significant dissatisfaction over the government’s existing plans to improve energy productivity. Respondents called for a major overhaul of energy efficiency policies to introduce new tax incentives to boost uptake of efficiency measures and reform building energy performance certificates. In its Clean Growth Strategy unveiled last October, the government said it wanted to improve energy productivity from UK industry by 20 per cent by 2030 against business-as-usual levels, and has subsequently launched a series of consultations aimed at strengthening energy efficiency policies. The government has previously said it is “determined” to help businesses improve their energy productivity, and that the 2030 target will help “contribute to overall economic growth”. However, 59 per cent of respondents to the EIC survey said they did not feel the current target was ambitious enough, including 14 per cent who either describing the goal as ‘not ambitious at all’ or ‘not very ambitious’, and another 45 per cent agreeing that it ‘could be more ambitious’. On more specific policies, 88 per cent of respondents said the Clean Growth Strategy’s calls for ‘as many homes as possible’ to be EPC rated C or above for energy efficiency standards by 2035 should also be extended to commercial buildings. More than half also said there were too many landlord exemptions to the statutory Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES), which enters into force from April this year.
Business Green 10th Jan 2018 read more »