UK will miss its energy efficiency targets for homes by 60 years

The UK will miss its target for boosting the energy efficiency of the poorest performing homes by more than 60 years, according to think tank the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).

The government had committed to upgrade fuel poor homes to an EPC band C by 2030 in its 2015 Fuel Poverty scheme, but current estimates put this at 2091 at the earliest. Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) measure the energy efficiency of a house and are legally required before selling or renting a property.

The delay has been attributed to the slow pace of deployment of energy efficiency measures under the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. This has been compounded by the fact that many underperforming households are likely to be older constructions and therefore require multiple costly improvements to achieve the EPC target of C.

The gap between fuel poor and efficient households is stark; recent government figures show that 2.55 million households currently live in fuel poverty and pay an average of £326 more on bills. For those who live in G rated properties, the gap rises to £1482.

Joshua Emden, Research Fellow at IPPR, did not hold back in his criticism of the government efficiency scheme: “Until we fundamentally re-design ECO and properly fund local authorities to deliver it, it will always look like the ghost of an old energy policy rather than the truly social policy it must become.”

The IPPR is now calling for a new scheme which will be focused solely on fuel poor households and delivered by local authorities in an area-based approach. The proposed scheme would be funded though general taxation rather than as a levy on bills, which the IPPR claim disproportionately affects those in fuel poverty.

Article Published: 13th July 2018

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