The Micropower

The lack of progress by Government on implementing the changes to the building regulations in part L may seriously undermine investor confidence. We welcome the announcement that DCLG will publish a detailed plan on the energy efficiency requirements in building regulations, by May 2013, but the result must be for the halfway approach.

If Government favours the FEES plus efficient services approach at the expense of consumers, it will undermine Government’s own commitment to the 2016 zero carbon target, by sending a wrong signal to investors. Any further delay or watering down of the interim period to 2016 would result in a loss of confidence by industry resulting in less investment and an uncertain job market.

Not only is this affecting industry but also that of UK households which account for nearly 30% of the UK’s CO2 emissions: householders (and the micro generation industry) are already missing out on improving the energy efficiency of their homes and reducing their energy bills through the Government’s decision to withdraw the proposal for consequential improvements.

Analysis shows that consumer bills will be nearly £100 less a year with the halfway approach and Government’s own analysis show an aggregate carbon reduction of 26% as opposed to only 8% under the FEES plus efficient services approach.

The MPC therefore urges Government to take into account consumer benefits in their forthcoming decision on building regulations. Furthermore should more recent cost assumptions be used, and these household savings taken into account, the halfway approach would in fact provide a net benefit to the economy of £58m. This contrasts to the cost of £453m as assumed in the building regulations consultation.