OFTEC and UKIFDA comment on the Environmental Audit Committee’s report ‘Energy Efficiency of Existing Homes’, published today
The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) report underlines OFTEC and UKIFDA’s long held concerns that government has seriously underestimated the cost of upgrading the energy efficiency of UK homes, particularly those off the gas grid.
In our responses to the EAC’s consultation last year, we highlighted how two thirds of oil heated properties (765,000 homes) currently fall into the lowest energy efficiency bands of E-G, making them far more difficult and expensive to improve.
Instead of representing an ‘easy, early win’ for decarbonisation, off-grid properties present one of the most costly and complex challenges. This means the majority of households will need considerable financial support to achieve the levels of improvement required – not just the fuel poor.
The EAC suggests government’s “botched” implementation of policies has been “nothing short of disastrous”. Instead of the ineffective, piecemeal approach employed to date, UK households urgently need well thought through, long term solutions that are fit for purpose.
Consumer choice and fairness must lie at the heart of future decarbonisation policy for government to get back on track. Households, especially those off-grid, must have access to a range of simple to implement, affordable options that work for a variety of property types and budgets.
Failure to embrace a mix of solutions going forward - which should include renewable liquid fuels as a near drop in replacement for oil heated homes - will continue to threaten progress.