Engineering Services alliance warns on changes to Net Zero policies


22 September 2023

The Prime Minister’s announcement signals unpredictability and creates uncertainty for the many businesses in the engineering services sector investing, or looking to invest, in net zero transition. When it comes to plotting the route to a net zero 2050, industry needs certainties and targets that will incentivise such change, enable the development of new skills, create new job opportunities and grow the green economy.

We welcome the Prime Minister’s acknowledgment that much of the progress to come will be technology driven. However, technology needs design, installation, maintenance and optimisation, and all these need skills, an essential part and challenge to the Net Zero strategy. Engineering services businesses also support the need for consensus on Net Zero targets, allowing the UK’s national Parliaments and Assemblies to work together, and with industry and other stakeholders, to develop the policies, technologies and skills we need to reach net zero.

We wholeheartedly welcome the very specific increase in the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, to £7500, which should help to drive the further introduction and development of heat pumps in the short term.

Julia Evans, BSRIA CEO and leading member of the Actuate UK Net Zero Group said: “The Prime Minister’s latest policy announcement will undoubtedly shake the confidence and plans of many businesses and consumers alike.

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Changes in the timescale and any dilution of the Government’s Net Zero policy risk damaging the strategic direction and investment already made by both large companies and by the hundreds of SMEs in our sector that have already created their business plans based on the 2030 target. We need a coherent approach across political divides, if we are to achieve economic growth and global competitiveness in this area.”

“There is still opportunity if we use our time to good effect”, commented Paul Reeve, ECA’s Director of CSR and deputy chair of the Actuate UK Net Zero group.

He added: “Government should concentrate its efforts, immediately and throughout the run up to 2035, to decarbonise and develop the grid and build a UK EV charging infrastructure that is fit for purpose.”