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Net Zero Consumer Protections

Tackling climate change is one of the most pressing challenges facing societies today. Every single household in the UK will need to make low-carbon changes to their homes in order to achieve the government’s climate targets, yet the process of making these home improvements is currently too complicated.

We’re asking the government to put consumers at the heart of plans to reach net zero. Without public understanding of why changes to homes 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

In 2019, the UK committed to end its contribution to global warming by pledging to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Big changes will need to take place across society for us to reach this target, including a drastic change in how people heat their homes.

Low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps, biomass boilers and heat networks will need to be installed in 29 million homes in the UK if we are to reach the net zero target - a monumental task. 

As the statutory consumer champion in the energy market, Citizens Advice has a unique insight into the problems facing energy consumers across the country from the people who contact our advice service every day. Our research shows that people want to help reach net zero, but often don’t know what they need to change or how to go about it. They’re even less likely to do it if it feels complicated or if they hear horror stories of things going wrong.

It’s a confusing consumer landscape for anyone wanting to install low-carbon technologies in their home right now. The market is difficult to navigate and gives too many opportunities for things to go wrong. Consumers are left vulnerable to scammers and rogue traders and are unable to seek redress when problems occur.

What we’re asking for

29 million homes need to be upgraded. People shouldn’t have to be climate experts to understand the changes required.

 We’re asking the Government to:

  • invest in high quality information and advice

  • establish a single consumer protection scheme for low-carbon home technologies and installations to support people if things go wrong

  • support people to access the right financial support

What we’re saying

Read our latest report: