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Civils leaders urge Osborne to launch national energy retrofit programme

Civils chiefs have written to chancellor George Osborne calling for a national retrofitting programme to make buildings more energy efficient.

Arup deputy chair Tristram Carfrae and Lafarge Tarmac chief executive Cyrille Ragoucy were among 50 big hitters from the construction, property and energy sector calling for action on energy from the new Conservative government.

Signatories included UK Green Building Council chief executive Julie Hirigoyen and Sustainable Energy Association chief executive Dave Sowden.

Hirigoyen 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.”

The letter called for:

  • Allocation of infrastructure funds to catalyse a national retrofit programme
  • All new homes to be zero carbon from 2016, and non-domestic buildings by 2019
  • Minimum energy efficiency standards for the private rented sector from 2018 to be effectively enforced
  • An outline of how the government intends to meet the third and fourth carbon budgets, and introduce an ambitious fifth carbon budget

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