Norwegian timber industry trade group Treindustrien 'disappointed' in lack of funds in proposed national budget for improving energy efficiency of existing buildings; timber industry had high expectations for government's plan to save 10 TWh in buildings

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OSLO, Norway , October 10, 2022 (press release) –

It is disappointing that efforts to improve the energy efficiency of buildings have not been implemented, according to The Timber Industry. Here, the construction industry's resources could be used for an important social boost in order to save energy.

The timber industry has long been a driving force for energy efficiency of existing buildings, and had high expectations for the announced plan to save 10 TWh in buildings.

" Here the Government does not comply. We cannot see that there is sufficient fresh money in the national budget for stepwise energy upgrades of buildings," says Heidi Finstad, CEO of the timber industry.

"The construction industry is facing a slowdown in the market as a result of the serious economic situation. Available resources in the industry can be used for a comprehensive energy upgrade of the buildings that have already been built. This will contribute to both activity and employment, while at the same time closing the energy loss in buildings. In this way, energy is released for other purposes, and contributes to security of supply for electricity," says Finstad.

"The timber industry hopes that the parties in the Storting in the budget negotiations will ensure that there are measures and appropriations that make a difference to promote energy efficiency and upgrading," says Finstad.

The Bridge Program
In a budget characterised by transport cuts, the timber industry is pleased that the Bridge Programme is receiving funding, even though the allocations should have been larger. For 2023, NOK 21 million has been set aside. The timber industry believes it is a challenge that small amounts are allocated every year, rather than now making a concerted effort through a proper grant to improve the bridges planned in the bridge program.

"There is a need to improve bridges to streamline the transport of goods and timber. The bridge programme is an effective transport measure without the reduction of new areas and reducing transport distances. Upgrading bridges also makes it possible to use vehicles with space for more goods per transport, which is appropriate in a climate context," says Finstad.

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