Non-domestic buildings must not be the ‘poor relation’

“Non-domestic buildings must not be the poor relation if we are serious about tackling carbon emissions; they account for over a third of buildings emissions and around 13 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions overall,” says Ross Anderson, Director of the Industrial and Commercial Energy Association (ICOM). He made the comment following the publication of the Labour Party’s Green Paper entitled ‘An end to cold homes: One Nation Labour’s plans for energy efficiency’.

Mr Anderson continued: “I am pleased that Labour are acknowledging that installing energy efficiency measures into non-domestic buildings will play a role in helping to reduce carbon emissions but I think work needs to be done to understand how businesses can be supported to install them.

“The Energy Act 2011 requires that all eligible properties in the non-domestic sector will be improved to a minimum standard by 2018 yet little is being done to help them achieve these minimum standards – no non-domestic energy efficiency plans have been delivered under Green Deal since its launch in January 2013.

“Businesses are more aware than most about the cost of their energy and the effect it has on their bottom line, but there are added complications – many lease buildings and there will always be major competition for any investment money available.

“Labour has made a start by making non-domestic buildings one of their priority areas, but much more needs to be done if we are going to stop being the ‘poor relation’. A long-term strategy is needed to simplify complex and uneven incentives and there needs to be improved access to any incentives and loans introduced. The best way forward following the publication of this Green Paper is to talk to us, the industry to see how we can make this a reality.”

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