UK requires urgent action to improve energy efficiency of homes

A report published in March 2021 by the Environmental Audit Committee entitled “Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes” states that the Government’s target to hit net zero carbon by 2050 will not be met unless urgent action is taken to improve energy efficiency of homes this decade.


The cost the government has set aside for decarbonising UK homes is between £35 billion and £65 billion. However, this figure does not include properties with solid walls or those in conservation area which could make energy efficiency installation more challenging. Its estimated 19 million UK properties need energy efficiency upgrades to meet EPC band C. Therefore, it’s likely that the cost will be far greater than the Government’s guesstimate.


The Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Rt Hon Philip Dunne MP, said:

““Making 19 million homes ready for net zero Britain by 2050 is an enormous challenge that the Government appears to have not yet grasped. In the next 29 years, the Government must improve energy efficiency upgrades and roll out low carbon heating measures: a material start must be made now.

Government investment to improve energy efficiency has been woefully inadequate. The £9 billion that the Government pledged at the election was welcome, but 16 months on, there appears to be no plan nor meaningful delivery. Funding allocated for the Green Homes Grant has not been spent, with only £125 million worth of vouchers – of the £1.5 billion budget – issued.”


Less than a week after this report was published, The Green Homes Grant, a scheme launched by the Government in September 2020, where households could get grants of up to £10,000 to make energy improvements to homes, was axed. Several problems with the scheme included customers fearing that contractors would spread coronavirus, a shortage of contractors able to carry out upgrades, builders overcharging for installation work, and stringent checks from government on homeowner spending led to delayed payments to businesses.


The government has said the £300 million previously allocated for the GHG will now be transferred to councils to run local energy efficiency programmes targeting lower-income households.


You can read the full report here: