The Green New Deal’s 30 by 30 plan makes progress

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The Green New Deal's '30 by 30' plan to upgrade the insulation of all 30 million UK properties by 2030 has been driven by Colin Hines, a member of the Green New Deal Group. It is making good progress. Labour has now issued these proposals, almost reusing the name:

30 Recommendations by 2030

Expert Briefing: Putting the UK on a path to zero carbon energy

Summary of Recommendations

To put the UK on as fast a path to zero carbon as possible, this report makes thirty recommendations, which are summarised below within four goals that need to be delivered in parallel.


Energy savings must be maximized if the decarbonisation of energy is to be achievable. It will require the majority of buildings and processes in the UK to become as energy efficient as possible. It will also require approaching energy demand in buildings as an infrastructure challenge, with a well-organized and well-funded national programme to ensure all buildings make good use of electricity. This will be a significant national undertaking, but the benefits to business, families and communities around the UK will be enormous.

Recommendation 1: Reduce energy waste, and thus demand, to the maximum possible extent over the years to 2030, and so set a target to reduce the need for energy across the UK by a minimum of 20% for heat and a minimum of 11% for electricity, relative to current levels.

Recommendation 2: Retrofit almost all of the UK’s 27 million homes by 2030 to the highest energy efficiency standards feasible for each building to reduce domestic heat demand by 23% relative to current levels. - Retrofit the as many homes as possible to EPC level A or B by 2030, making EPC C level the targeted minimum. This is expected to result in 41% of UK buildings reaching EPC A or B, and 44% at EPC C. - Proactively implement area-based retrofit programmes — including SME buildings at the same time as domestic houses.

Recommendation 3: Ensure this retrofit work targets those homes in most need first. - Top priority: high fuel poverty and low-quality housing. - Second priority: homes and buildings with lowest energy performance (those that “leak” the most energy due to poor building design) - Home retrofits should peak at around 3m per year in 2027.

Recommendation 4: Conduct a root-and-branch review of the range of standards, measures, materials specification and practices of the UK construction industry to maximize the quality, impact and benefit of the retrofit and renovation programme, to add to the work carried out under the Each Home Counts review.

Recommendation 5: Ensure all existing public buildings reach EPC A or B by the mid 2020s, except in extenuating circumstances, with EPC C required as a minimum energy-efficiency standard.

Recommendation 6: Ensure all existing commercial and industrial buildings reach EPC A or B by the mid 2020s, except in extenuating circumstances, with EPC C required as a minimum standard. Work with commercial and industrial sectors to achieve this.

Recommendation 7: Reduce energy use in industry by 11% by ensuring that process efficiency is maximised, waste heat is used on-site to the maximum viable extent and the remaining waste heat is made available to external users.

Recommendation 8: Reintroduce a zero-carbon buildings standard for all new buildings from 2020 and seek to ensure all new buildings are constructed full net zero-carbon as early as possible.

The LibDems have also been paying attention. This is their version:

Passed by the Lib Dems Conference

As an urgent priority, government must put in place an extensive and comprehensive scheme to cut energy consumption by retrofitting existing buildings; four out of every five homes British people will be living in in 2050 have already been built. This is our top priority for action because it is the most cost-effective option available to reduce emissions and because it contributes to climate justice, reducing household bills and improving quality of life especially for those in fuel poverty. We would introduce a new Green Buildings Act setting the following targets:  All homes of low-income households (social, rented or owner-occupied)· to reach at least Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) Band B by 2025.  All other homes and non-domestic buildings to reach EPC Band B by· 2030. 7.1.3We endorse the campaign for ’30 by 30’ — 30 million homes and nondomestic properties insulated by 2030.

I am well aware of the challenge that tackling 2.8 million homes a year represents. It is enormous. But we can always die instead.