NFB supports Labour's ambition but warns of not underestimating the challenge

Posted On: 
8th November 2019

The National Federation of Builders (NFB) has welcomed the Labour party’s ‘Warm Homes for All’ plan.

Richard Beresford, chief executive of the NFB, said: “Our members are equipped to support Labour’s ambition of warm homes for all. It’s a great first step towards tackling fuel poverty and meeting our climate commitments.

“Another forward-thinking step that we’d recommend to all parties would be to reduce VAT on renovations from 20% to 5% - or even make it zero rated, as is the case with new builds.

“However, before we can deliver on these ambitions, we must identify and prioritise those buildings with the greatest need, train energy assessors and solve the barriers to success, such as the planning process, which is beset by delays and not fit for purpose.”

The NFB also cautions the Labour party not to underestimate the costs or the complexity of implementation.

5.3 million UK homes do not have cavity walls and more than 500,000 buildings are listed. These properties are some of the least energy efficient in Europe and will require special considerations, such as exterior cladding, a new type of planning permission and complete renovation.

Complete renovation is expensive but must be considered because many homes will require more than double glazing and upgraded cavity wall insulation to see acceptable energy efficiency improvements.