A report by the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR), a UK think tank says that around 12 million homes must be refitted if we are to meet net-zero energy targets. However, the £3bn set aside for the project isn’t quite enough.
Under new government plans to upgrade home energy efficiency, only a small amount of progress will be made. This must be increased if the UK is to meet its legally binding climate target requirements, according to new research. Improving energy efficiency within the home is one of the smartest ways to help customers save money on gas and electricity bills.
IPPR conducted a new report which found that a minimum of 12 million homes will need to be fitted with low-carbon heat pumps in addition to undertaking other energy efficiency measures such as improving insulation. This must be done over the next 30 years if the UK endeavours to meet its net zero targets.
The think tank believes that Rishi Sunak’s recent £3bn spending commitment to fund a new energy efficiency plan is less than 33 per cent of the required investment needed. Furthermore, according to the report, the plans to install heat pumps will deliver lower than 2% of the figure required.
Joshua Emden, an IPPR researcher, said that the government’s focus on improving energy efficiency in this year’s summer statement should ideally be combined with low carbon heating technologies, heat pumps for example, as these will “maximise the potential for savings on energy bills” and ultimately reduce carbon emissions.
He said that new job opportunities would be created as well as apprenticeships by training new workers if a push is made behind heat pumps now. This will allow the industry to focus on the challenges of installing this low-carbon technology within homes up and down the country.
Spending of more than £10.6bn per year for the UK’s draughty homes would be required from both private and public investment over the next 10 years, until 2030, if the UK wants to meet its carbon emission targets. Looking towards the future, between 2030 and 2050, an additional £7bn will be needed to meet the country’s legally binding commitment to create a net zero carbon economy by 2050. Ambitious targets such as these require significant investment.
This extra investment would also offer “considerable rewards beyond helping to tackle the climate crisis”, according to the IPPR. This is by creating an estimated 275,000 jobs in England alone, as well as households receiving lower cost energy bills, saving them money on gas and electricity.