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Seeds of change

Energys Group says Spending Review 2015 lays seeds for vital energy efficiency infrastructure

Posted by Stephanie Broad | December 13, 2015 | Sustainability

George Osborne has just detailed his Spending Review, including DECC's budget over the course of this parliament. The headlines claim that the Government will provide £295 million over five years to improve the energy efficiency of schools, hospitals and other public sector buildings.

This commitment was hinted at in a report published by DECC in January 2015 entitled: A Guide to Financing Energy Efficiency In The Public Sector. With this new pot of money available, the report is likely to become essential reading for public sector energy managers up and down the country.

With the Chancellor’s £295 million commitment comes the mandate to start retrofitting the Government's estate. Doing so offers opportunities and benefits from both carbon and financial perspectives. As DECC's financing guide explains; 'A report prepared for DECC in 2011 estimated that the cost effective potential for investment in carbon abatement (mainly through energy efficiency measures) in the entire UK public sector was £1.66 billion.'

“Retrofitting Government buildings has tangible advantages; many are elderly and badly require an update to save wasted energy,” says Kevin Cox, Managing Director at Energys Group.

“DECC's £1.66 billion estimate proves the potential value of energy efficiency in this sector. But we would remind George Osborne of the speed of retrofit too, and just how quickly it delivers rapid payback.” 

At this stage, the exact details of the £295 million spend, year on year, remain unpublished. This means it makes sense for public sector energy managers to apply early for the cash, before any potential shortfall develops.

“All in all, this cash will vastly improve the UK's public sector building stock,” says Kevin Cox.

“George Osborne's millions remain a great opportunity, but they could build benefits into the billions, if stretched in the right ways. Using the right measures to ensure the cash is spent well, and incentivises extra private sector efficiency spend is the next, vital step.

“Energys is supportive of this news, and welcomes it. We will be delighted to get to work immediately, scoping, advising and assisting the public sector across the UK.”

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