CIBSE warns of major challenge

The UK Low Carbon Transition Plan published by the Government sets out the key actions and strategies to meet climate change targets: cutting the UK’s carbon emissions by 34% from 1990 levels by 2020 and deriving 15% of all energy from renewable sources by the same date.

The Chartered Institution of Building Services Engineers (CIBSE) welcomes the inclusion of many measures the institution championed in earlier consultation responses but also agrees that successful delivery “will only be possible with strong, co-ordinated efforts from government”.

Stephen Matthews, CIBSE chief executive, said: “There are many proposals in the Transition Plan which CIBSE wholeheartedly supports. But they will be a major challenge to deliver on anything like the scale proposed, and they require much more focus on delivery and compliance with standards and regulations across the building sector.

“They will also need considerable investment in skills and in developing our knowledge to support the wide uptake of energy efficiency, demand reduction and renewable energy measures which the plan envisions. These are all areas where CIBSE is already actively working with the major designers and installers in the industry to deliver the tools they need for the task ahead.”

Matthews went on to note the influence of CIBSE’s thinking on the Renewable Energy Strategy: “In a number of our consultation responses we have called for financial incentives to encourage the take up of renewable energy technologies, particularly for small businesses and households, in order to address the very large stock of existing buildings.”

The new plans offer a number of tax measures to help make renewables more attractive, including introducing a reduced rate of VAT for professional residential installation of certain microgeneration technologies and ensuring that new zero-carbon homes will benefit from stamp duty relief.

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