Grand Designs Great British Refurb Campaign tackles inefficient housing stock (UK)

Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud will today build a compelling case for the Government to kick-start a nationwide green refurbishment programme for our homes. As Ministers prepare to publish their plans for reducing the UK's carbon emissions in the Energy and Climate Change White Paper, Kevin will join MPs and homeowners in urging the Government to unlock the potential energy savings contained within the UK's 26 million existing homes. Tackling our poorly insulated, inefficient housing stock, has the potential to reduce homeowners energy bills.

The Grand Designs Great British Refurb Campaign, led by Kevin McCloud, has gained the support of thousands of homeowners across the country who want Government support to make their homes more energy efficient. Kevin personally delivered this message to the Government this morning by building and insulating his own 'home' outside the Houses of Parliament. Kevin was joined this morning by Secretary of State for Energy & Climate Change, Ed Miliband, and opposition spokesmen on climate change Greg Clark (Conservatives) and Simon Hughes (Liberal Democrats).

It is estimated that by retrofitting our existing housing stock, nine million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be saved – the equivalent to the average CO2 output of over 1.5 million homes per year. The market for green refurbishment and improvement could be worth between £3.5 billion and £6.5 billion per year and thousands of new jobs could be created. Britons could save on average £300 a year on household bills by being more energy efficient and improving heating and insulation in the home

Kevin McCloud, who launched the Great British Refurb Campaign in April this year, said:

"As homeowners, we need look no further than our own four walls to find a way to reduce carbon emissions, save money on our energy bills, and create jobs in our communities. If the Government is serious about tackling climate change, help must be given to homeowners on every street in Britain to green their homes."

The Great British Refurb Campaign is supported by the Energy Saving Trust, Grand Designs magazine, UK Green Building Council, and WWF-UK. Thousands of homeowners have already added their name to a petition calling upon the Prime Minister to make it easier, more affordable, and more attractive to go green at home. This petition will be delivered to No 10 Downing Street later this week and is well timed to coincide with the Government's latest announcement on reducing the UK's energy demands.

The Energy and Climate Change White Paper is to be published this week and follows the Government's Heat and Energy Saving Consultation earlier this year. The paper is expected to include new plans to reduce energy consumption, and meet the UK's renewable energy targets by 2020.

McCloud adds: "We urgently need a plan of action to deliver on our climate change targets. A nationwide programme of green refurbishment is an ideal solution, creating a major reduction in carbon emissions and providing a boost to the economy through the creation of green collar jobs in our communities. But in order to achieve this the Government must first remove the cost barrier and make it a tangible solution for the nation's homeowners."

The Great British Refurb Campaign is calling upon the Government to:

  • Offer households new ways to pay for green refurbishment, which would significantly reduce upfront costs and instead spread them over a longer period of time.
  • Provide better financial incentives for householders to refurbish their homes to make them greener and more energy efficient, through substantial government grants, subsidies or tax rebates.
  • Ensure installers are qualified and approved to undertake the work.

Source: UKGBC

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