Government “failed to learn lessons” of previous energy efficiency schemes, says Citizens Advice
Citizens Advice in its role as the official watchdog for energy consumers has responded to the National Audit Office’s report into the Green Homes Grant.
Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:
“Once again the government has failed to learn the lessons of previous attempts to improve the energy efficiency of people’s homes. Our research shows that previous schemes, including the Green Homes Grant, were complicated and frustrating to navigate, lacked good consumer protections and were too short term.
“To meet its net zero goals the UK will need to decarbonise 29 million homes. To achieve this once in a generation challenge the government is going to need to give people the right tools. The forthcoming Net Zero Strategy is a key opportunity to put in place the measures to make sure adapting your home is a far more simple process.
“Any future schemes need to give people access to unbiased information, to help make the right changes to their homes. It will need strong consumer protections to make sure problems are easy to fix, and to protect people from scammers that have marred previous schemes. In addition, accessible and sufficient long-term funding must be available for those who need it.”
As part of a coalition of industry, trade and consumer groups wrote to the Prime Minister to highlight how the confusing process for making home adaptations could put the success of the net zero transition at risk.
Citizens Advice conducted analysis of people asking for help with the Green Homes Grant earlier this year - a summary of those findings can be found in this blog.
Notes to editors
- Citizens Advice includes the national charity; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.
- Citizens Advice is the statutory consumer advocate for energy and post. We provide supplier performance information to consumers and policy analysis to decision makers.
- The Citizens Advice Witness Service provides free, independent support for prosecution and defence witnesses in every criminal court in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice offers Pension Wise services at 500 locations in England and Wales.
- Citizens Advice’s services are free, independent, confidential and impartial, and available to all regardless of race, gender, disability, sexual orientation, religion, age or nationality.
- To get advice online or find your local Citizens Advice, visit citizensadvice.org.uk
- For consumer advice, call the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 to talk in Welsh.
- We helped 2.6 million people face to face, by phone, email and webchat in 2017-18. For service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.
- Citizens Advice staff are supported by over 23,000 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 locations in England and Wales.