We take a look at the month’s hot topics for the elemental audience.
Rishi Sunak’s response to the energy price rises and cost of living crisis has been much debated this month by the elemental community, and seems likely to stay in the spotlight for some time to come. The windfall tax (or, as Sunak preferred to call it in this BBC interview, the energy profits levy) is being used to fund a couple of measures designed to help those struggling to pay their bills, which many see as a massive wasted opportunity to tackle the energy-efficiency of our buildings.
Posting on LinkedIn, Samantha Mant – CEO of Halcyan Water and a speaker in our Decarbonising Buildings Theatre at InstallerSHOW – pointed out that temporary boosts to households’ funds aren’t much of a long-term strategy. She said: “Giving a low income home £650 to help them pay their energy bills will solve their immediate needs but what about next year and the year after that?”
Also on LinkedIn, Jo Alsop, founder of The Heating Hub (and also a speaker at InstallerSHOW this year) said: “If this money was invested in gas boiler efficiency, this would pay for itself in a year and lead to a permanent reduction in our gas use and carbon footprints. If you don’t need this money and have a condensing gas boiler, spend it wisely on making your heating more efficient.”
Adam Scorer, Chief Executive of National Energy Action (NEA), said the package of support “averts the darkest of outcomes” but called for the Government to go further. He said: “The Chancellor’s new package today averts the darkest of outcomes, offering some hope to the millions of fuel poor households across the UK. Millions will still be struggling and the energy crisis is far from over, but a large, more targeted intervention is what was needed ahead of winter.
“The Government urgently needs to plan for energy prices to remain high for the longer term. This must include a social tariff, setting an affordable price of energy for the poorest households. And there must be additional effort into making the homes of fuel poor households more energy efficient, making them more resilient to the sort of price shock that they are currently shouldering.”
Many of the approaches to making homes more energy efficient will be discussed in the elemental theatres at InstallerSHOW later this month, and we’ll be sure to share the highlights from the many seminars and panel discussions, as well as exhibitors, to inspire those social landlords and building owners looking for the most cost-effective ways to cut back on energy.