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Sharing support for the government announcement today (18 December 2023) of an extra £6 billion in funding to help improve energy efficiency, group chair Derek Horrocks said: “This announcement is another incredibly positive step towards decarbonising the housing stock up and down the country – and one we welcome with open arms at the NHDG.  

“We’re pleased to see that along with the public sector, private owner-occupier and private landlords will benefit from this funding, with an extra £1.5 billion for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, and a new energy efficiency grant providing £400m to households in England.

“The extra funding for the Boiler Upgrade Scheme gives the opportunity to tie this £7,500 offering into whole-house decarbonisation proposals for householders, which alongside ECO for fabric measures should create an attractive large-scale offering. This is alongside multiple other heat transformation schemes, and a new £500m local authority retrofit scheme to support 60,000 low-income and cold homes, including those off the gas grid.

“Meanwhile, we’re especially pleased to see £1.25 billion for the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund within the funding, which will be match-funded to create £2.5 billion between 2025 and 2028. This is something we called for in the Autumn Statement and will give us that longer term to develop the area-based approach and use the economies of scale it affords.

“The past five years have seen more government investment in decarbonisation than ever before. Excellent progress has been made, with nearly 50% of properties in England now having an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of C – up from just 14% in 2010. The government has now committed to spend £12.6 billion by 2028, a move that will genuinely make a difference to thousands.

“Since our inception earlier this year, we made a concerted effort for this funding to be committed to, by writing directly to the Prime Minister, as well as making a request for this ahead of the Autumn Statement. We firmly believe that the decarbonisation of homes is about so much more than achieving net zero but rather it is also about supporting millions of people facing the impacts of the cost of living, energy, and health crises, which this announcement highlights.

“This funding will provide the all-important long-term certainty for businesses within the sector too. This is again something we have spoken publicly about in recent months and called on the Prime Minister himself to assure. With more than £12 billion now committed, industry can be confident in making the investments needed for innovation and expanding the supply chain that will deliver this critical work.

“As a group, we know the power we have together, with an estimation that 80% of the large-scale domestic retrofit in the UK will be carried out by our members. In 2024, we know we have a huge opportunity to work closely with the government on shaping policy through our growing partnership with DESNZ. Our working groups are established and already working towards achieving real outcomes together, and we look forward to continuing our position as a key driver for net zero – and of social change too.”