The Government is to spend millions on a national energy efficiency programme targeting public sector buildings over the next five years.
Announced as part of the Spending Review, the government has pledged to provide £295 million by 2020 to improve schools, hospitals and other buildings owned by the government. The money will come out of the Department of Energy and Climate Change’s (DECC) policy spending, which is expected to be £11.9 billion by 2019/20.
While details have yet to emerge on how much of this money will be spent each year to 2020, the promise equals a commitment of around £59 million per year to improve the energy performance of public buildings.
Chancellor George Osborne also announced that the government plans to sell £4.5 billion worth of land and property in an effort to raise funds and free up land for new housing. This property sale will include prisons, which will be replaced by new, energy efficient facilities, as well as underused courts.
Under rules set by the European Commission, all member states are required to carry out energy efficient renovations on at least 3% of the buildings they own or occupy every year, while new buildings occupied or owned by public authorities will be required to be nearly zero energy by the end of 2018.
At the time of publication, further details had yet to emerge on how the £295 million will be distributed or how it will be spent.