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May 26, 2022

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Emily Braham

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The cost of living crisis requires long-term investment in energy efficiency

Policies announced today are welcome immediate measures but to truly tackle the cost of living crisis, we need to see long-term changes– including a national retrofit strategy.

Supported by an "energy profits levy", the financial support announced today for those hit hardest by the energy price cap rise will help partly tackle the immediate financial challenges that many UK families face.

However, long-term targeted investment to improve the energy efficiency of our housing stock is also required if we are to truly lift people out of fuel poverty permanently - as well as free us from fossil fuels so we can achieve our climate goals.

The UK’s supply chain and providers of net zero retrofit need time to gear up and prepare to deliver retrofit at the scale and speed we need. This requires long-term government commitment rather than the current stop-start funding schemes.

That’s why we continue to call for a clear National Retrofit Strategy with £250m of innovation investment over five years to unlock retrofit as a key part of the net-zero industrial revolution. This is completely in line with Rishi Sunak’s words today about the government’s plans to: “drive businesses to invest and innovate more and unleashing a skills revolution.”

Alongside a clear target, five – seven years of innovation funding following the “commit and review” Offshore Wind Accelerator arrangement would enable the development of factories, products and processes to decrease unit cost and increase speed of deployment for deep retrofit.

This would kickstart and create a self-sustaining retrofit market to deliver our 2050 goals without expensive subsidies, tackling many of our converging social and economic challenges by:

  • Delivering a thriving, innovative net-zero economy with strong business opportunities for SMEs and big corporates alike, stimulating supply chains and offering high-tech job opportunities for current and future generations.  
  • Creating a cost-effective, functioning and self-financing industry that’s market led, rather than dictated by heavy policy or subsides.
  • Insulating our country from volatile energy markets, and position ourselves as a global net-zero leader.
  • Leveraging low-cost transition with highly energy-efficient homes that are easy to supply and don’t stress the grid.
  • Enabling effective levelling up across the UK, helping all families enjoy warm, desirable homes with affordable, stable bills.

Find out more about how the revolutionary Energiesprong model for whole house retrofit is designed to unlock a functioning, self-financing net-zero retrofit market.

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