'Homes are the foundation to our Green Industrial Revolution'
For the UK to successfully transition to a net zero future we must start with fixing the problems of the homes in which we live and the vehicles we drive – moving quickly to more efficient and planet-friendly alternatives for heating and transport that not only help tackle the climate crisis but also, closer to home, address the air pollution that still plagues many of our city streets.
Commenting on today’s 'Green Industrial Revolution' announcement by the Government, E.ON UK CEO Michael Lewis said:
“As we’ve seen with the transformation of Britain’s power generation sector in recent decades, a consistent and long-term policy ambition will inspire the change we need to meet our net zero obligations and I am encouraged that the Government’s ten point plan gives us that.
“There will be huge interest in futuristic technologies and ambitious science coming from today’s announcement, but the basic truth is our net zero future will really be delivered by tens of thousands of people in white vans across the country. They will be the people following through on our commitment to greater energy efficiency, moving away from fossil fuel heating systems and delivering the infrastructure that gives us all the confidence to bring forward the ban on petrol and diesel car sales to 2030.
“Because for the UK to successfully transition to a net zero future we must start with fixing the problems of the homes in which we live and the vehicles we drive – moving quickly to more efficient and planet-friendly alternatives for heating and transport that not only help tackle the climate crisis but also, closer to home, address the air pollution that still plagues many of our city streets.
“About 19 million homes in the UK currently have the potential to dramatically improve their energy efficiency, and ratcheting up building standards, both new-build and retrofit, is absolutely critical. Part of that should include expanding and extending the Green Homes Grant so it provides £3bn a year to at least the end of this Parliament and also aligning the tax system to incentivise the retrofit of energy efficiency measures among homeowners.
“The Government’s commitment to installing 600,000 heat pumps each year by 2028, leaping from about 20,000 installs each year at the moment, will be a massive but necessary step to ending our reliance on gas for heating. Getting there will require a strengthened long term regulatory, tax and financial framework to leverage the tens of billions of investment required.
“We cannot forget the end customer and their role in transforming almost every part of our daily lives – this transformation must be done in a just way, meaning the burden of cost does not fall proportionately greater on those who are least able to afford it.”
The residential sector remains the second highest emitter of the country's carbon emissions so concentrating on improving the energy efficiency of homes will help move the UK towards a cleaner energy future and help achieve net zero. It will also help people to lower their energy bills and increase the comfort of their homes while reducing fuel poverty at a time when people are spending more time in their homes during this second national lockdown. This in turn leads to improved health and wellbeing and brings savings in health and social care.