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Mike Wood: To ask the Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, what assessment she has made of the potential contribution to energy efficiency and low carbon energy from buildings markets to (a) improving infrastructure and (b) implementing the Government's (i) long-term economic plan, (ii) obligations under the Climate Change Act 2008 and (c) commitments to relieve fuel poverty.
Andrea Leadsom (The Minister of State, Department of Energy and Climate Change):
There is huge potential for buildings to contribute to our goals on reducing carbon, tackling fuel poverty, keeping bills down and driving economic growth. The UK’s housing stock accounts for around 30% of our energy consumption and a further 20% from non-domestic buildings. Collectively, once electricity emissions are taken into account, buildings make up around one third of our greenhouse gas emissions. Reducing building emissions is therefore key to meeting our Climate Change Act commitment of an 80% green-house gas emissions reduction by 2050.
Government is acting to harness this potential. A reformed domestic supplier obligation from April 2017, which will run for 5 years, will upgrade the energy efficiency of over 200,000 homes per year tackling the root cause of fuel poverty. Our extension of the Warm Home Discount to 2020/21 at current levels of £320m per annum will also help vulnerable households with their energy bills.
Alongside this, we have set new minimum standards in law which will, from April 2018, require privately rented buildings to reach a standard of at least energy efficiency band E before they can be let.
In 2014 a total of 96,510 businesses were active in the Low Carbon and Renewable Energy sector, employing 232,500 full-time equivalent (FTEs) employees generating £45.3 billion of turnover. Over half of these businesses work in the production and supply of energy efficiency products.