UK and India reveal joint energy demand reduction fund

The UK and Indian governments have announced the creation of a £7.4m research fund established to improve energy demand reduction in the built environment.

UK science minister Jo Johnson made the announcement yesterday as part of a wider UK-India research and trade agreement which has seen the creation of a ‘Newton Fund’ worth £80m.

The fund will support various technology and science initiatives addressing “a range of global challenges”. The fund announced by Johnson will see a total of £7.4m invested by Research Councils UK to focus on “energy demand reduction in the built environment” in an attempt to “improve health and wellbeing and lower energy costs for building users”.

“The future of science and innovation depends on collaboration and India continues to be a vital science partner for the UK,” said Johnson.

“Through the Newton Fund we’re working together to improve the lives of millions across the world and we are continuing to look at opportunities to expand this partnership to include joint funding for social science and humanities programmes.”

Approximately one fifth of the UK’s non-residential building stock is currently estimated to fall into the bottom two ‘F’ and ‘G’ categories under the Energy Performance Certificate ratings. The Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) regulations are due to come into effect from 1 April 2018, after which all buildings will have to qualify for at least ‘E’ standard in order for them to have leases signed or renewed.

The funding announcement follows a trade delegation to India led by Prime Minister Theresa May which coincided with the UK-India Tech Summit, held in New Delhi.

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