Report criticises government progress on energy efficiency of homes

The UK government has failed to make significant progress in improving the energy efficiency of homes, according to a report by the National Infrastructure Commission.

The commission’s annual Infrastructure Progress Review highlighted the government’s poor record in insulating the UK’s draughty homes and the slow adoption of electric heat pumps to reduce emissions from home heating.

The report identified specific priorities for the year ahead, including tightening minimum standards in private rented sector homes.

There is “a significant gap between long-term ambition and current performance”, according to Sir John Armitt, chair of the NIC, who called for “a change of gear in infrastructure policy”.

“This means fewer low-stakes incremental changes and instead placing some bigger strategic bets, backed by public funding where necessary – after all, the risk of delay in addressing climate change is now greater than the risk of over-correction,”  he added.

The government has targeted at least 600,000 heat pumps to be installed each year by 2028. However, only 55,000 were fitted in 2021, while 1.5 million gas boilers were fitted. 

The NIC blamed the lack of progress on insufficient government funding and called for the development of a concrete plan.

“Getting our infrastructure right for the second half of this century is a journey that, by definition, will go on being plotted over the coming decades,” said Sir John Armitt. “But a further year of prevarication risks losing momentum on critical areas like achieving the statutory net zero target. Rarely has the need for speed been more evident.”


Email the story to a friend!

One Comment

  1. northernlandlord

    This is all a mess. The Government is not going to give out money for upping EPC ratings. Owner occupiers won’t do it of their own accord as payback periods are so long. A lot of rented property especially in lower rent levels for the poorest tenants is older and very expensive to upgrade if indeed it is possible at all. Landlords of these properties are faced with losing nearly a couple of years rent upgrading (that’s if they actually have the money) and paying a disproportionate amount of the property’s value to do so, money that will probably not be recoverable in a sale. So a lot of these landlords will just sell up and the tenants will be out.
     If Landlords do pay, the costs will have to be passed on in much higher rents to tenants. The extra rent costs will more than offset any savings on the tenant’s energy bills.  This could push tenants into arrears leading to eviction.
    Better to leave all the regulations for new builds and properties that are easily upgraded (post 1990) and leave other properties alone.


You must be logged in to report this comment!

Comments are closed.

Thank you for signing up to our newsletter, we have sent you an email asking you to confirm your subscription. Additionally if you would like to create a free EYE account which allows you to comment on news stories and manage your email subscriptions please enter a password below.