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Future Homes Standard

7 February 2020

Future Homes Standard [ 190 kb]

Citizens Advice welcomes the Future Homes Standard consultation as part of the process of creating better, more sustainable homes and ensuring that more efficient heating systems become the norm.

As the UK works towards rapid decarbonisation, many of the people we help will need support to make sure that they can access the new technologies and systems that will come about as a result of this. As such, one of our priorities includes consideration of the provision of low carbon heating systems which are beginning to be introduced and the impacts of this on consumers. 

Recently published research from Citizens Advice shows 82% of UK adults support the goal to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050. Despite strong public support, there is a lack of public understanding about the technological and lifestyle changes people will need to make.

Our latest research shows that despite strong public support for our net zero goal, people are unaware of the changes that will be needed:

  • Just 38% of people think they’ll need to change the way they heat their homes to a low-carbon heating system. But 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 to get there:

  • 92% said they would be happy to make their homes more energy efficient to ensure the UK meets its net zero targets. But 66% of these said they would need support to do this

  • 79% said they would be happy to change the way they heat their homes to ensure the UK meets its net zero targets. Of these, 76% said they would need support to make changes to their heating system.

The housing stock in the UK consists of aged and poorly insulated homes, this contributes to greater heat loss from buildings. The government must  ensure that new build homes are fit for purpose in a net zero Britain and avoid the need for future low carbon retrofitting in homes being built today. 

Whilst it is important to rapidly move towards sustainable solutions to everyday heating needs and to achieve  net zero, it is equally important to make sure that consumer needs are addressed and built in from the beginning of this process. Plans to achieve net zero cannot move forward by leaving consumers behind. More about this can be read in our recently published Zero Sum report. 

Our response to this consultation therefore aims to help clarify the policies and practice necessary to make the transition to low carbon heating fair.