The government’s new plans to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes will make only a fraction of the progress needed to help the UK meet its legally binding climate targets, according to a new study.
A report by IPPR, a left-leaning thinktank, has found at least 12 million homes will need to be fitted with low-carbon heat pumps and energy efficiency measures, such as insulation, over the next 30 years for the UK to meet its net zero targets.
However, Rishi Sunak’s pledge to fund a new energy efficiency plan with £3bn of spending is less than a third of the investment needed, and its plans to install heat pumps will deliver less than 2% of the number required, according to the report.
Joshua Emden, a researcher at IPPR, said the government’s focus on energy efficiency in the recent summer statement should be paired with low carbon heating technologies, such as heat pumps, to “maximise the potential for savings on energy bills” and carbon emissions.
By throwing its weight behind heat pumps now, the industry will be able to focus on the challenge of fitting the low-carbon tech to homes across the country, and begin creating new jobs and apprenticeships by training new workers, he said.
The UK’s draughty homes would need spending of more than£10.6bn a year from both public and private investment until 2030 to meet the UK’s target to reduce carbon emissions. A further £7bn a year will be needed between 2030 to 2050 to meet the UK’s legally binding commitment to create a net zero carbon economy by 2050.
IPPR said the extra investment would also bring “considerable rewards beyond helping to tackle the climate crisis”, including the creation of 275,000 jobs in England alone and lower energy bills for households.