The Labour Party has announced radical plans to ensure all new build homes are ‘zero carbon’ and all existing homes are upgraded to become more energy efficient by 2022.
This vision would come to fruition by implementing increased efficiency standards, use low carbon or renewable energy sources, triple-glaze windows, avoid fossil fuel heating systems as standard and instil a super-efficient insulation culture within the construction sector.
The Labour Party will also be hoping the public will warm up to their ‘Warm Homes for All’ manifesto promise which will see a Labour Government invest £60 million into property energy-saving upgrades.
Having built their policies to heavily tackle environmental issues by planning to cut UK carbon emissions by a tenth by 2030, the Labour Party has costed a radical scheme to improve the energy efficiency in older homes.
As part of the upgrades, double glazing improvements, roof insulation upgrades and new energy efficient heating systems will be offered to homeowners.
Although Labour expect the entire scheme to cost in excess of £250 billion, the shadow business secretary, Rebecca Long-Bailey, claimed that £60 billion would be funded by central government and taken from the National Transformation Fund.
Part of Labour’s investment would provide a grant for low-income households to cover the estimated £9,300 per home it would take to complete the work.
However, wealthier households would be offered an interest-free loan to make the necessary changes which Labour claim will reduce energy bills by an average of £417 per year by 2030 for over 9.6 million UK homes.
Such a system has already been successfully incorporated in Scotland by Holyrood and the devolved parliament.
As is the way in this particular political landscape, the Conservative Party has accused these proposals as being ‘unrealistic’ and likely to slow house building down at a time when more homes are desperately needed.
The Housing Secretary also confirmed the Government’s commitment to the Future Homes Standard which were introduced in the Spring Statement earlier this year.
Here, all new-build homes would be future-proofed using similar energy efficient technologies with the aim of reducing emissions by a third by 2020 and completing the changes by 2025.
John Healey, Shadow Housing Secretary, commented:
“Zero carbon homes are totally do-able without big price increases.
“We really should be looking to house builders to absorb these costs as well because this is an industry, in recent years, that has made billions in profits and paid millions in bonuses to top executives.”
Rebecca Long Bailey MP, Labour’s Shadow Business and Energy Secretary, said:
“Warm Homes for All is one of the greatest investment projects since we rebuilt Britain’s housing after the Second World War.
“Labour will offer every household in the UK the chance to bring the future into their homes – upgrading the fabric of their homes with insulation and cutting edge heating systems – tackling both climate change and extortionate bills.
“This project will also create hundreds of thousands of good unionised construction jobs, bringing good work back to areas of the UK the Tories abandoned long ago.”
Robert Jenrick, Housing Secretary, said:
“As usual, Labour are setting unrealistic targets that would slow down house-building and put up house prices.
“Boris Johnson and the Conservatives are taking a practical, sensible approach to reducing emissions from homes. We are introducing a ‘future homes standard’ that will ensure new homes meet reductions in emissions by a third by 2020, and world-leading by 2025.”
Jeremy Corbyn, Leader of the Labour Party, said:
“If we don’t radically change course we face the threat of a hostile and dying planet. But Labour will turn that threat into an opportunity.
“We will tackle the climate crisis by putting wealth in the hands of the many not the few, with lower bills, more good jobs and better health.
“By investing on a massive scale, we will usher in a Green Industrial Revolution with good, clean jobs that will transform towns, cities and communities that have been held back and neglected for decades.
“At this election, the choice is clear – we can either take action to protect future generations, or allow the Tories to help fuel our planet’s destruction.”
Will improving existing housing stock have a positive impact on the housing market? Will implementing ‘zero carbon’ new builds drastically slow down UK construction?