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Summer Economic Update – Construction and Housing

Two residential front doors

On the 8th July 2020, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Rishi Sunak, announced the Summer Economic Update within the House of Commons. During his speech, Sunak spoke of endurance and patience; finding balance between safety and normality, alongside a plan for creating and securing jobs. However, there was another theme running throughout the announcements, showing how the construction sector is likely to move forwards from the impact of Covid-19:

 

“It’s going to be a green recovery with concern for our environment at its heart”

Rishi Sunak, Chancellor of the Exchequer

 

The Summer Economic Update left no room for doubt that our Covid-19 recovery is a green one. Below you can find the two key areas highlighted by the Chancellor as key drivers for this recovery: creating green jobs and supporting house sales.

Creating Green Jobs

The Government’s statement announced a number of measures to support the development of green jobs by creating demand for low carbon, energy efficient products. When combined, these measures are expected to help over 650,000 homes becomes more energy efficient, create over 140,000 new jobs, whilst cutting carbon to support environmental targets.

Investment in Green Jobs

The financial measures announced included:

  • £5bn of additional funding for investment in infrastructure such as roads, schools, hospitals and highstreets, on top of the £88bn announced in the Spring budget
  • £1bn funding to improve the energy efficiency of public sector buildings
  • £50m on measures to decarbonise social housing

This aim of generating these jobs is also supported through the encouragement of traineeships, apprenticeships and academies within areas including construction and engineering, developing the new skills that will be needed to take the industry on a long-term path of green growth.

Clean Homes Grant

The Chancellor also announced the introduction of the £2bn Clean Homes Grant, aimed at increasing the energy efficiency of existing homes and cutting household bills by £300 per year whilst securing local green jobs.

The grant will be made available to homes owners and landlords from September 2020 through a voucher system and will include a:

  • £5k grant towards energy efficiency improvement costs per household
  • £10k grant towards energy efficiency improvement costs for low income households

Although the full list of what the Clean Homes Grant will cover has not been released yet, it is expected to include loft, wall and floor insulation, low carbon HVAC technology, double or triple-glazed ¬windows, low-energy lighting and energy-efficient doors, with allocation of funds subject to completion of an approved assessment.

 

Supporting House Sales

The update highlighted the importance of the housing industry, stating how the construction industry adds £39bn per year to the UK economy with housebuilding supporting 750,000 jobs and millions more relying on the availability of housing to find work.

This is why they see this area as one of the most important for job creation.

Stamp Duty

To counteract the recent 50% decline in property transactions during May 2020, the Chancellor announced changes to Stamp Duty.

These changes are designed to increase confidence and the property market, including the sale of both new and existing homes.

The update will see the minimum property value subject to Stamp Duty raise from £125,000 to £500,000 with immediate effect until the 31st March 2021.

 

Estate agent 'Sold' sign

 

Low Carbon HVAC Solutions

As green growth becomes an increasing focus in the construction industry, understanding what the low carbon HVAC solutions available to you are will be increasingly important to developing compliant and commercially beneficial developments.

 

How can we help?

At Glen Dimplex Heating & Ventilation, we have a range of solutions suitable for existing and new build developments, with long standing relationships within the social housing and construction sectors. We have been successfully applying our low carbon systems for heating, hot water, cooling and ventilation to projects across the UK to offer our customers innovative and compliant solutions.

For more information, contact us to discuss how we can help you.