Businesses Urge Government To Make Building Efficiency A Key Part Of Its Economic Plan

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Key business leaders in the UK have written an open letter to the government, urging it to support building efficiency to help get the country's economy back on track, the World Cement website reports.
 
Published in the Daily Telegraph at the end of last month, the letter includes signatures from 55 leading figures who argue that ensuring building efficiency should be part of the UK's long-term economic recovery plan.
In its party manifesto, issued before the general election in May, the Conservative party vowed to meet Britain's climate change targets by reducing emissions "as cost-effectively as possible." Now that they are in power, businesses are striving to make sure they keep to their promise - starting with building efficiency.
 
The signatories include large organisations such as Barratt Developments, BAM Construct, Whitbread and E.ON, to name just a few. They write in the letter that building energy efficiency not only reduces emissions, it also "stimulates economic activity, strengthens our international competitiveness and creates thousands of jobs across the UK."
 
What's more, it lowers energy costs for businesses and homeowners alike, and has even been proven to lessen the burden on the NHS. The letter further notes that energy efficiency in buildings is a "more cost-effective means of meeting demand than building new generating capacity, [and] is also crucial in safeguarding our energy security."
 
The business leaders suggested four long-term policies for the government to implement: Make energy efficiency a national infrastructure priority and allocate the necessary funds to begin a nationwide retrofit programme. Deliver on the promise of all new homes being zero carbon by 2016, and all non-domestic buildings by 2019. Make certain that Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards for the private rented sector from 2018 are properly enforced. Explain how the government intends to meet the third and fourth carbon budgets, and propose a bold fifth one.
 
Commenting on the letter, its co-ordinator and chief executive of the Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards, Julie Hirigoyen, explained that 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 government now has a "golden opportunity" to make carbon reductions from buildings a major part of its economic plan, she added, concluding that it was "a win-win-win for people, the environment and the economy."
 
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