The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee concluded its inquiry into energy efficiency on Friday by publishing a report with key recommendations for the government to consider. To discuss the findings of the report and the reaction of business and key stakeholders, the CBI organised a breakfast panel in collaboration with the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group.
It was hosted at the Royal Institute of British Architects – an apt venue considering UK homes and buildings are the country’s largest source of carbon emissions and are in real need of improvement if we are to reach net-zero in time. On the panel was CBI Chief Economist, Rain Newton-Smith and the newly appointed CEO of the Green Finance Institute, Dr Rhian-Mari Thomas.
The keynote speaker was Rachel Reeves MP, the Chair of the Select Committee, who argued that the government is presiding over a failing policy and that progress is not stalling due to lack of evidence on how to drive energy efficiency uptake but due to a lack of political will.
The report goes into detail about where more ambition is needed to encourage action on energy efficiency to meet our climate targets. The government legislated for a net-zero greenhouse gas emissions target for 2050, becoming the first advanced country in the G20 to do so. However, as has been widely acknowledged by industry and the government, this won’t be possible without improving energy efficiency.
CBI welcomes the report
Speaking on the panel, Rain emphasised that firms are ready to play their part in combating the global climate crisis, and agreed more ambition is needed.
Many of the report’s recommendations are in line with current CBI policy on energy efficiency – most notably, for energy efficiency to be designated as a national infrastructure priority. We have also previously asked that the government adopt a cross-departmental approach to improving the efficiency of our homes and buildings. And we’ve said that it must work with industry to provide the correct regulation on heat and energy efficiency, skills and funding to address the issues raised in this report and to ensure that the UK’s homes and buildings are fit for the future.
The next steps
The CBI will be working with members to consolidate our position on energy efficiency into a short strategy document. The issue will also play a central role in the CBI’s spending review asks this year and we will continue to engage with members on how this is shaped. We are also eagerly anticipating the buildings regulations consultation.
If you have any questions or input on this issue then please contact, Abdul Kamara.