The Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS) has responded with disappointment towards the UK Government’s revised energy strategy, Powering Up Britain. The government’s revised strategy arrives in the wake of a 2022 High Court ruling that the previous plan did not provide enough detail on plans to tackle climate change.
The strategy now outlines key areas of activity for the government in progressing towards net zero but, importantly, contains little in the way of new announcements or funding. Given the significant role surveyors have in supporting the decarbonisation of the built environment, RICS has eagerly anticipated this announcement.
Key points from the revised strategy include the following:
- Launching the Great British Insulation Scheme that will see up to 300,000 homes become more energy efficient
- Phasing out of new and replacement gas boilers by 2035
- The continuation of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme and £30 million towards boosting the manufacturing of heat pumps
- Significant investment in carbon capture and nuclear technologies, as well as offshore wind farm infrastructure
Sam Rees, Senior Public Affairs Officer for RICS, said:
“While RICS welcomes any investment in the decarbonisation of the UK, RICS is disappointed by the lack of ambition or indeed any major new announcements – especially in light of the publication of the Independent Review of Net Zero led by Chris Skidmore MP. With an estimated 15 million homes needing a form of energy efficiency improvement work, the insulation policy targeting 300,000 homes falls well short of the ambition needed.
“Powering Up Britain contained little in the way of incentives for the majority of consumers and businesses to create low-carbon, energy-efficient properties. Further expected announcements by the government look set to push back decarbonisation of the built environment, including a now 12-year phasing out of gas boilers and delays to create higher EPC-rated homes.
“RICS will continue to work with UK Government, the Energy Efficiency Taskforce and Net Zero Coalition to push for greater resources towards creating a low-carbon UK, recognising the important role surveyors have in supporting the net zero transition.”