Information following meetings with climate change campaigners

After several meetings with climate change campaigners in Chichester and London Gillian was asked to find out some information on the Governments action on the below.

Hydrogen Boilers

The Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy has commissioned the Hy4Heat project which aims to provide essential technical evidence on the use of hydrogen for heat in buildings. This will include developing and testing hydrogen boilers. The project has a total budget of £25 million and will run until 2021. (Claire Perry HC Deb, 8 May 2018, cW link)

Solar panels on New builds

The Government believes that compelling construction firms to install solar panels on all new builds would place a heavy cost and burden on the industry, at a time when providing the security of a new home for millions of families is of the utmost importance.

Current requirements do not prescribe the technologies, materials or fuels to be used, allowing builders the flexibility to innovate and select the most practical and cost-effective solutions in individual circumstances. These solutions could include solar panels, but they may not be appropriate for some types of buildings or locations. Therefore, the Government has no plans to change the Building Regulations to ensure that all new buildings are constructed with solar panels. (Alok Sharma HC Deb, 19 October 2017, cW link)

The National Planning Policy Framework also expects local planning authorities to have a positive strategy in place to promote energy from renewable and low carbon sources. The strategy should identify opportunities where development can draw its energy supply from renewable or low carbon energy supply systems. (Gov.uk Guidance link)

The Government also intends to strengthen energy requirements in Building Regulations where there are cost-effective and affordable opportunities, and it is safe and practical to do so. (Clean Growth Strategy link)

Small Scale Low Carbon Generation

The Government is consulting on introducing a mandatory supplier-led route to market, the Smart Export Guarantee. Ministers believe this new scheme could create a whole new market, encouraging suppliers to competitively bid for this electricity, giving exporters the best market price while providing the local grid with more clean, green energy, unlocking greater choice and control for solar households over buying and selling their electricity. This could also reduce strain on energy networks with a more decentralised and smarter local network delivering resilience much more cost effectively. (BEIS, Consultation, 18 December 2018 link)

Energy Efficiency  

Over two million energy efficiency measures have been installed in over 1.8 million homes since 2013 and the Government has announced through its Clean Growth Strategy that it will invest around £3.6 billion to upgrade around a million homes through the Energy Company Obligation by 2020 and extend that support to 2028.

It is the Government’s ambition for all fuel poor homes to be upgraded to Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band C by 2030.

For privately rented homes, the Government has legislated so that landlords of the worst performing properties will need to improve those properties to a minimum of EPC Band E and is consulting on steps to make these regulations more effective.

A long-term strategy will also be implemented to improve the energy performance standards of privately rented homes, with the aim of upgrading as many as possible to EPC Band C by 2035 where practical, cost-effective and affordable. (Clean Growth Strategy link)

Alongside the Clean Growth Strategy, the Government published a Call for Evidence on building a market for energy efficiency, which includes additional measures to reduce the cost of investment required to improve homes. (BEIS Consultation, 12 October 2017 link)

Food waste

In December, the Government launched its Resources and Waste Strategy which sets out a new approach to address food waste from farm to fork.

The Strategy calls on local authorities to tackle food waste within their communities by actively supporting the development and use of the Waste and Resources Action Programme’s national messaging to promote food waste prevention among citizens, and by playing an active part in piloting interventions and in scaling up those pilots which prove most successful. (Defra, Policy Paper, 18 December 2018 link)

The Government has also announced a new pilot scheme to reduce food waste, supported by a £15 million fund. The first £5 million round of funding is currently being allocated to food redistribution organisations.

The Government has also appointed Ben Elliot as the food waste champion who will work with business leaders to ensure that the issue of food waste and surplus remains at the top of their agendas, with household food waste as a priority. (Therese Coffey HC Deb, 15 April 2019, cW link)