The Department for Business, Energy Industrial Strategy has published ‘an ambitious blueprint for Britain’s low carbon future’ called the Clean Growth Strategy. This strategy sets out how the UK government will fulfil its carbon reduction targets as well as invest in and aid the growth of a cleaner economy. But what does this mean for the average UK household?
There are several impacts worth understanding including how energy efficient our homes are, the way we heat them, the cars that we will drive in the future, and how our energy is generated.
It sets out energy efficiency targets to improve UK homes with the aim to increase as many homes as possible to EPC band C level by 2030. The intention is to insulate six to nine million homes which will be supported through the extension of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) energy efficiency scheme which targets those households who are the most fuel poor and will benefit most from saving energy. If you are looking to insulate your property or replace your boiler it is worth checking on our qualification form if you are eligible for an ECO grant as these are already available.
Private rented and social housing will also be examined to see if they can reach similar standards where possible. Building standards for any new builds will also be tightened in order to make homes more future proofed and efficient.
The rollout of smart meters is also seen as a way to assist households in understanding their energy consumption in the hope of making them more frugal with their energy use. Many of the energy suppliers are already installing these in homes so it’s worth seeing if you can have one installed sooner.
A key factor in reducing carbon emissions is tackling how we heat our homes and how efficient it is. The strategy aims to improve the standards of new boilers as well as supporting low carbon heating, such as heat networks and investment into heating innovation programmes, such as heat pumps, biomass and solar thermal. This is supported by the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) to increase the adoption of low carbon heating. RHI is an existing scheme where you could get money back on heating your home through low carbon heating.
The strategy aspires to transition the UK to low carbon transport, which will include the end of new conventional petrol and diesel car and van sales by 2040. This will be achieved through encouraging the adoption of ultra-low emission vehicles (ULEV), supporting the development of charging networks and investment into the advancement of electric batteries.
Reshaping the energy we consume
The UK electricity grid will be decarbonised through the phasing out of coal power stations, in favour of increasing renewable energy generation and nuclear power. Investment will be made to increase the cost-effectiveness of renewable energy and also in advancing the development of energy storage to balance out the demand and generation differences with renewable energy.
The household wallet
This strategy sounds ambitious and costly but it aims to blend energy efficiency savings with driving down the price of electricity wholesale costs to balance the level of public investment and assistance to low carbon innovation. So the impact on the householder wallet should be lessened as much as possible, according to the strategy. The Green Deal style of “Pay as You Save” finance is also being revisited in order to make the deal more attractive and effective for both businesses and customers and this should help households invest in more expensive energy efficiency solutions.