This is a letter from Lord Deben, Chairman of the Climate Change Committee, to Rt Hon Jeremy Hunt MP, Chancellor of the Exchequer. It outlines the Committee’s advice on reducing energy demand in buildings in response to the energy price crisis.
2. Key messages
- A decade ago, 2.3 million energy efficiency measures were installed annually through Government-backed schemes. In 2021, fewer than 100,000 were installed. Reducing energy demand in UK buildings is now the biggest gap in current Government energy policy.
- Regrettably, it is too late to introduce new policies to achieve widespread improvements to the fabric of buildings for this winter. But there are many small changes which can still make a meaningful contribution to reducing energy demand.
- With higher prevailing energy prices, investments in energy efficiency measures are recouped faster through savings on energy bills, even as inflation increases some construction costs.
- Government can lead by example by investing in the energy efficiency of the public estate, demonstrating national and local government efforts to reduce energy demand.
- A combination of public funding and Government action is required to facilitate access to and reduce the cost of capital. Our updated analysis suggests that over 60% of households can achieve levels of energy efficiency that are compatible with Net Zero for less than £1,100.
- These actions will set the groundwork for a ramp up in low-carbon heat in the mid-2020s and continue the UK’s ambitious but necessary trajectory towards Net Zero. The Government should set the policy framework now to bring down the upfront and running costs of low-carbon heating technologies.
3. Supporting information, charts and data