Insulating British homes would deliver £39bn boost by 2030

Citizens Advice is calling for a new, large-scale drive to bring the homes of 31 million people up to EPC C by 2030. It would:

  • Cut consumers’ bills by £24bn

  • Save the NHS £2bn 

  • Cut new cases of childhood asthma by 650,000 

  • Create major economic and social boost for regions with most inefficient housing - including £5bn for North West England

Improving the energy efficiency of homes would bring a £39bn boost to Britain through a range of economic and social benefits by 2030, according to a new report from Citizens Advice. 

The charity is urgently calling for a major programme of retrofitting - paid for via public and private financing - to get all homes capable of reaching EPC C to this standard by 2030. It says investment in basic bill-saving measures like insulation is a win-win: tackling health inequalities, reducing people’s energy bills and helping the UK reach its net zero targets. 

New research from the charity found that over 15 million homes across Great Britain are energy inefficient. The vast majority of these, 13 million homes, could be upgraded to reach EPC C,  delivering nearly £24bn in consumer bill savings by 2030. The charity argues that reducing bills will allow some consumers to spend more in the local economy – boosting regional economic growth. 

Benefiting local communities and regions

Research shows upgrading homes in the North West to EPC C would deliver £5bn in benefits by the end of the decade, boosting the economy, reducing air pollution and increasing quality of life. The region has some of the highest levels of fuel poverty in the country, in part because more than half the homes across the North West fall short of EPC C. 

Improving people’s health, reducing NHS spend

Citizens Advice argues that insulating 13 million homes to EPC C across the UK would have a profound impact on health across Great Britain, with even greater benefits evident in areas with older building stock such as Wales and the Midlands.

An insulation drive could effectively prevent millions of people developing respiratory conditions including asthma. Research from Citizens Advice suggests more than 650,000 new cases of childhood asthma could be avoided by the end of the decade. In addition, the charity’s research suggests improving the country’s leaky housing stock would prevent more than half a million children and adults from developing mental health conditions associated with a cold home. 

This would reduce the number of days of missed school and work due to illness. And in the long-term, it would likely reduce the number of people kept out of work due to ongoing health conditions.

Insulating the nation to EPC C level also reduces patient numbers by 30% for conditions made worse by a cold home like asthma, mental health issues and heart disease. 

Today’s research from Citizens Advice shows that a major programme of retrofitting would save the NHS £2 billion by 2030. 

Dame Clare Moriarty, Chief Executive of Citizens Advice, said:“The impact of raising minimum energy standards would be profound: giving a boost to household budgets, improving people’s health, increasing energy security and helping the UK reach its net zero targets.

“This report shows that insulating our homes is about so much more than reducing energy bills. It’s a long-term solution that makes running the NHS cheaper and boosts quality of life in areas that need it most.

”The government must make improving our draughty homes a top priority.”


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Notes to editors

  1. The new report from Citizens Advice, Home advantage: Unlocking the benefits of energy efficiency, is available on request pre-embargo. Following that it will be available via the Citizens Advice website.

  2. The House of Commons Library research briefing, Health inequalities: Cold or damp homes , February 2023, sets out current evidence on the health implications of living in a cold or damp home - including the increased risk and severity of illnesses such as asthma, heart disease and mental health conditions. 

  3. Insulating 13 million homes to EPC C would deliver £39.1bn in cumulative benefits made up of avoided consumer bills; NHS savings; energy system savings.

  4. Citizens Advice is made up of the national charity Citizens Advice; the network of independent local Citizens Advice charities across England and Wales; the Citizens Advice consumer service; and the Witness Service.

  5. Our network of charities offers impartial advice online, over the phone, and in person, for free.

  6. Citizens Advice helped 2.55 million people face to face, over the phone, by email and webchat in 2021-22. And we had 40.6 million visits to our website. For full service statistics see our monthly publication Advice trends.

  7. Citizens Advice service staff are supported by more than 18,500 trained volunteers, working at over 2,500 service outlets across England and Wales.

  8. You can get consumer advice from the Citizens Advice consumer service on 0808 223 1133 or 0808 223 1144 for Welsh language speakers.