£35 million government fund to green buildings

21st September 2011


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  • Mitigation ,
  • Renewable ,
  • Management/saving

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IEMA

The government is to invest up to £35 million in innovative projects to cut carbon emissions from homes and commercial property, Chris Huhne has announced.

Speaking at the Liberal Democrat party conference in Birmingham yesterday (20 September), the energy and climate change secretary revealed the funding which will support the creation of new technologies to improve the energy efficiency of buildings, helping businesses and consumers to cut costs and reduce their carbon footprint.

The investment forms part of the £200 million of spending dedicated to low-carbon technologies announced in the coalition’s spending review last November, of which £30 million is being spent on lowering the costs of offshore wind, with a further £20 million invested in marine energy technology.

The news came at the end of a speech in which Huhne defended the government’s climate change policy, which has been criticised for increasing energy costs to consumers and businesses during austere times.

“I can hardly pick up a Tory paper these days without a whinge about energy and climate change policies,” he said. “But cutting carbon is not a luxury to be ditched when the going gets tough. It is essential to the survival of mankind… [and it] is a vital part of our recovery from the deepest recession since 1929.”

Huhne also outlined new powers for Ofgem and measures targeting the UK’s six big energy companies to ensure that consumers are able to easily switch supplier and find the cheapest deal.

While the plans were welcomed by consumer groups, environmental campaigners Friends of the Earth argued that the government’s pledges were undermined by recent changes to subsidies for renewable energy.

“It’s ironic that while Huhne is calling for more players in the energy market, the government is axing financial support to the feed-in tariff scheme that supports homes, communities and businesses to generate their own clean energy,” said energy campaigner Donna Hume.

Meanwhile the CBI’s director general John Cridland agreed a more competitive energy market was good news for businesses, but warned: “We must remember that prices also reflect the critical need for energy investment for a low-carbon future. We need ministers to be crystal clear on energy policy if vital business investment is to be secured.”

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