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Decarbonisation

We’re calling on the government to put consumers at the heart of plans to reach net zero. Without public understanding of why changes are needed, information to help people make decisions, and support if things go wrong, public faith will be undermined. This will put our ability to reach net zero at risk.

Why things need to change

Tackling the climate crisis is one of the most pressing challenges facing societies today.

Last year, the UK became the first major economy to pass laws committing to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. 

As the statutory watchdog for energy consumers, Citizens Advice supports the push to achieve net zero. However, meeting the UK’s net zero target will have major implications for people’s everyday lives. 

For example, low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, biomass boilers and heat networks will need to be installed in over 28 million homes in the UK - a monumental task.

Our research has found:

  • Four in five (82%) people surveyed support the commitment to reach net zero by 2050

  • Only just over a third (38%) are aware they need to change the way their home is heated. The Committee on Climate Change recommends 90% of homes will need to install low carbon heating systems for the UK to meet its net zero goal.

  • People are willing to make changes to their homes and lifestyles to reach net zero, but they need support. Of those who know they will need to change their heating system and are prepared to do so, 76% say they’d need advice or financial support such as grants.

What we’re asking for

Achieving net zero won’t be possible without public support and buy-in. We want to see the government:

  • Include consumer protections and a programme of support to help people adopt low carbon heating systems in their forthcoming heat policy roadmap.

  • Give consumers the confidence to engage with and change the way they use energy, by asking companies to make information about products and services transparent and accessible.

  • Work with regulators on the net zero regulation challenge, to ensure consumer protections can adapt to a changing market.

What we’re saying

Read our latest report:

We’ll be releasing more research in the coming months.