The government is meeting just six per cent of its green homes targets
6th September 2021 | Residential Energy
In just over 50 days, the UK plays host to the pivotal international climate summit COP26 in Glasgow. To be a credible host, the UK must get its own house in order yet its net zero strategy – the UK government’s long-awaited plan for reducing emissions – and other crucial plans, including its heat and buildings strategy, have still not been published.
These are not delays the UK can easily afford. On the decisive area of homes and buildings – responsible for 14 per cent of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions – analysis by IPPR has found that in 2020 England was installing just six per cent of the government’s annual installation target of 600,000 heat pumps (the anticipated dominant low carbon heat technology by 2050) per year by 2028. Delivering homes that are energy efficient is also crucial, yet in England only between two and nine per cent of what will be needed by 2028 of measures such as loft and cavity wall insulation are being installed annually.
So we’re a long way from where we need to be and decarbonising the nation’s homes is one of the most difficult areas where the UK needs to make progress on emissions reductions in the next few years. Numerous government schemes have also been botched or scrapped early.
Energy efficiency upgrades combined with heat pumps could lead to a 16 per cent reduction in energy bills compared to gas boilers
But the good news is that bolder action has considerable public support. Just this month, public concern about the environment reached an historically high level rising to the second biggest issue facing the UK, even ahead of the economy. Nearly two-thirds of people want higher government spending to address environmental issues.
As well as bringing down emissions, government action can also bring down energy bills – the Climate Change Committee (CCC) has indicated that energy efficiency upgrades combined with heat pumps could lead to a 16 per cent reduction in energy bills compared to gas boilers.
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