A new report today from MPs calls for urgent action to address poor energy efficiency in UK homes in order to avoid undermining the UK’s efforts to meet Net Zero carbon emissions, reflecting recommendations made in the National Infrastructure Assessment.

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee’s report Energy Efficiency: building towards Net Zero, says that promoting more energy efficient buildings is crucial to help the UK meet its carbon reduction targets cost-effectively. Its report raises concerns that public investment in energy efficiency – such as on measures to improve home insulation – is not being prioritised. In response, the Committee wants creating energy efficient homes to be designated a national infrastructure priority, with action from the government to toughen up energy efficiency standards in building regulation and to boost funding for the Green Home Finance Innovation Fund.

The UK’s first-ever National Infrastructure Assessment – published in July 2018 – calls on the government to increase the pace of energy efficiency improvements across all types of homes ahead of a decision on whether hydrogen or heat pumps are the best long-term replacement for natural gas, a focus on energy saving innovations and tougher regulations covering rental housing. The Committee’s report endorses the Commission’s call for government to prioritise investment of £3.8bn on improvements to the energy efficiency of the UK’s social housing stock.

National Infrastructure Commission Chair Sir John Armitt said:

“With 22% of carbon emissions coming from heating alone, creating more energy efficient homes can make a huge contribution to achieving the UK’s Net Zero ambitions. Our National Infrastructure Assessment calls on government to rapidly accelerate the pace of energy efficiency improvements so that 21,000 measures, such as floor, wall and loft insulation, are being delivered each week. This should cover all types of property and include significant funding for improvements to council and housing association homes, as endorsed by the Committee.”

More information on reducing carbon emissions from heating can be found on the infographic The costs of low carbon heating.