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Net zero homes guarantee: How to support people and improve the nation's homes

25 June 2020

Net Zero Homes Guarantee [ 2.7 mb]

The coronavirus has had an unprecedented impact on all of our lives. The immediate and ongoing impacts of the virus are being felt across the country and we’re seeing them first hand at Citizens Advice. 

Once the pandemic has been brought under control, the focus on economic recovery will begin. Last year the UK government was the first major economy in the world to pass laws to end its contribution to global warming by 2050. The target means that we have to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero, in other words carbon neutral, by 2050. 

People must be at the centre of plans for economic recovery. For energy and heat, this means ensuring that the energy transition is fair - whether that's in relation to costs, choice, consumer protections or decision making. 

Citizens Advice is calling for the government to establish a net zero homes guarantee. This would be a government-backed scheme focused on giving people confidence to install low carbon heating systems or energy efficiency measures. The guarantee would help people to make informed decisions, and establish simple, enforceable, protections, so people can engage with confidence. It must include support for people through funding, finance and incentives. 

A net zero homes guarantee will be essential to:

  • Improve the energy efficiency performance of homes, keeping people's bills low and homes warm

  • Replace fossil fuel based heating systems and move homes on to low carbon options to achieve the net zero ambition.

Now more than ever it is important to ensure that the costs of the transition to net zero are paid for fairly. The impact coronavirus has had on incomes and affordability must not be overlooked. 

Achieving the net zero emissions target will only be possible if we inform, protect and support people with the changes that we all have to make to our homes. 

Public support will be crucial for a successful transition to a low-carbon future.