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“Building energy efficiency stimulates economic activity” write UK businesses

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World Cement,

An open letter published in The Daily Telegraph indicates many large businesses want to see the UK government’s long-term economic plan include steps to ensure building energy efficiency. The Conservative Party Manifesto pledged the Conservative government would ‘cut emissions as cost-effectively as possible’ to meet the UK’s climate change targets.

The letter, signed by 55 business leaders, argues that the construction sector offers ways to reduce carbon emissions and provide major economic growth, whilst contributing to ongoing deficit reduction and economic recovery. Organisations such as BAM Construct, Barratt Developments, E.ON, Saint-Gobain and Whitbread are among the signatories.

In the letter, the leaders write: “Building energy efficiency stimulates economic activity, strengthens our international competitiveness and creates thousands of jobs across the UK, mostly with small local businesses. It lowers costs for businesses and householders, and reduces the burden on the NHS. And as a more cost effective means of meeting demand than building new generating capacity, it is also crucial in safeguarding our energy security.”

They outline four long-term policies:

  1. Recognise energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority and allocate infrastructure funds to catalyse a national retrofit programme.
  2. Deliver on the commitment for all new homes and all new non-domestic buildings to be zero carbon from 2016 and 2019 respectively.
  3. Ensure that Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for the private rented sector from 2018 are effectively enforced.
  4. Outline how the government intends to meet the third and fourth carbon budgets, and introduce an ambitious fifth carbon budget.

Julie Hirigoyen, Chief Executive of the UK Green Building Council, which coordinated the letter, said: “Business leaders already recognise the importance of bold energy efficiency and carbon reduction targets – not simply because they’re the right thing to do, but because they generate real commercial value for their businesses. The new government has a golden opportunity to put cost effective carbon reductions from buildings at the heart of its economic plan. Ambitious, long-term policies would drive major economic growth and job creation, reduce energy bills for homes and businesses, and strengthen the UK’s energy security. This is a win-win-win for people, the environment and the economy.”

Edited from Press Release by Harleigh Hobbs

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