An independent report has called on the Welsh Government to commit to a 30 year programme to reduce carbon emissions in our homes.
That’s just one of the recommendations of the report which recognises the political, economic and social challenges of making homes greener and more energy efficient.
The report, ‘Better Homes, Better Wales, Better World’, was commissioned by Welsh Ministers last year and has been produced by an independent Advisory Group on the Decarbonisation of Homes in Wales.
Chaired by Christopher Jofeh, Arup’s former global buildings retrofit leader the Group has spent the last 15 months exploring the evidence on how to create the necessary conditions for success. Their recommendations, supported by detailed actions, say:
- Political parties in Wales should make a strategic commitment to national residential decarbonisation and stick to it.
The Welsh Government should:
- set ambitious energy targets for homes to achieve net zero carbon by 2050
- put in place the right quality system and delivery mechanisms for all homes to meet the targets
- develop a holistic package of support for all homes to motivate and facilitate action
- collect data about the status and condition of the housing stock to inform future decisions and measure progress
- continue to monitor and test new solutions to help decarbonise homes
- engage communities, networks, associations and Third Sector organisations to help make the change.
The Report makes clear that Welsh Government needs to lead many others; organisations, communities and individuals will need to play a part.
Receiving the report today at an event in The Exchange Hotel in Cardiff, Minister for Housing and Local Government Julie James said:
I welcome the Advisory Group’s recommendations and want to thank Chris and all members of the Group for their expertise and insight.
Making our homes greener and more energy efficient will be challenging, especially when you consider that Wales has the oldest and least thermally efficient housing in the UK and Europe.
But with this challenge also comes enormous opportunities - lower fuel bills, improved air quality, more comfortable homes, better health, new jobs and skills. We have to be ambitious and creative if we’re going to achieve the change we need.
Minister for Energy, Environment and Rural Affairs, Lesley Griffiths said:
We are in a climate emergency. Our Low Carbon Action Plan sets out the steps we will take to cut emissions and support the growth of a low carbon economy and this Report is one of the first items we promised.
Making our homes greener and more energy efficient is absolutely central to this and, while the Welsh Government will show the leadership, I’ve been very clear that all of us must play our part in achieving a low carbon Wales.
This report shows the scale of the challenge ahead but also the many benefits for our society, economy and natural environment.
Christopher Jofeh said:
Now is the time for Wales to take a lead and show how it can be done. The benefits of doing so will be profound and widespread for families, for businesses and for Wales.
The Housing Minister will now consider the report’s recommendations and detailed actions and will respond in the autumn.