YouGov survey finds majority of MPs don’t believe Government policy will make our homes fit for the future

Cross-party MPs support stronger government policy and increased Treasury finance to scale up the installation of renewable heating technologies for new and existing homes and help meet net zero climate targets, a YouGov survey has found.

The survey, commissioned by the MCS Charitable Foundation, found that more than half of MPs questioned (56%) agree that it should be made a priority for the UK’s 29 million existing homes to have a green energy retrofit. More than three quarters (77%) believe that small-scale renewables, such as solar PV, solar thermal and heat pumps, should be incorporated into all new build properties from 2022.

The removal of VAT on all domestic renewables and energy efficiency measures for 10 years was supported by almost half of MPs (46%). Other proposed measures include a phase out of fossil fuel rebates and subsidies, offering 0% interest retrofitting loans and long-term grant schemes to shift domestic heating reliance on volatile natural gas markets to sustainable heating solutions.

Less than half of MPs questioned believe the government is doing enough to meet net-zero targets and there was support for new regulations requiring all new homes to meet this standard by 2023.

Currently, 20% of carbon emissions, mainly from gas boilers, are produced by the UK’s existing housing stock. To meet the UN carbon emissions targets homes must be retrofitted with renewable heat technology at a rate of nearly two per minute up to 2050, according to the Committee on Climate Change.

David Cowdrey, Director of External Affairs at MCS, said:

“If the government is serious about meeting emissions reduction targets, the decarbonisation of our current and future homes must urgently move up the political agenda, backed by robust legislation.

“Less than half of the MPs polled believe the government is delivering on this, sending a clear message that they need to take decisive action, with the Treasury committing funding, to accelerate the home heating revolution.”

The survey findings follow the recent publication of the government’s Heat and Buildings Strategy which outlined a £450m finance package to support the installation of up to 30,000 heat pumps a year. The funding and timescale fall far short of the level required for heat pump sector growth to meet the government target of 600,000 annual installations by 2028.

With the UK possessing some of the least energy efficient housing in Europe, the MCS Charitable Foundation is calling on the government to introduce long-term homeowner loans at 0% interest and underwritten by them to support retrofitting of existing properties.

Other measures needed include the introduction of tax credits for energy efficiency and renewable energy equipment and a programme to upskill and train renewable heat installers to MCS certified quality installation standards.

David Cowdrey added: “It appears, from the survey results, that over half of MPs don’t feel that at the current rate of progress that we’re going to meet net zero targets and the recently released Heat and Buildings Strategy failed to provide the catalyst the sector so desperately needs.

“Following COP26, home decarbonisation should be a top government priority. Banning all fossil fuel heating from new homes by December 2023 and investing in a green heating future can cause a ripple effect. It’s good for the economy and the environment. Boosting green skills will also create thousands of new jobs with people trained to future proof the way we heat our homes.”

Lucy Galvin

Lucy Galvin

Mobile; 07954 428437

[email protected]

Jamie Osborn

Jamie Osborn

Mobile; 07975 881585

[email protected]