Current policy and funding

The policy framework for decarbonising our homes is emerging rapidly, along with details of the funding available to support it. Here, we summarise the key pieces of policy currently guiding decarbonisation, which will be kept up to date as the environment evolves. 


The government's Net Zero Strategy

This strategy sets out policies and proposals for decarbonising all sectors of the UK economy to meet our net zero target by 2050.

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Policy paper overview: Net Zero Review Final Report

Analysis exploring the key issues as the UK decarbonises.

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Heat and buildings strategy

The Heat and buildings strategy sets out how the government plans to eliminate virtually all emissions arising from heating, cooling and energy use in our buildings.

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Spending Review 2021

A summary the key announcements made by the Chancellor, our member briefing, response, and our original submission. 

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Clean Growth Strategy (2017)

An outline of the government’s desire to see all rented homes reach EPC C by 2030 where practical, cost-effective and affordable. It details a range of other measures they would take to support the decarbonisation of housing.

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EPC Action Plan (2020)

Sets out a series of actions the government will take to improve the EPC regime in a number of areas including coverage, accuracy and alignment with decarbonisation. In June 2021, a BEIS-commissioned report regarding how to better align SAP with net zero was also published.

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The ten point plan for a green industrial revolution (2020)

Sets out the approach the government will take to build back better, support green jobs, and accelerate our path to net zero.

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Energy White Paper (2020)

Builds on the Ten Point Plan to outline the government’s approach to greening our energy system.

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Sustainable Warmth Strategy (2021)

Outlines how the government plans to address fuel poverty in England and align this objective with decarbonisation. The Strategy aims to ensure as many fuel poor homes as reasonably practicable achieve a minimum energy efficiency rating of Band C, by 2030.

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Hydrogen Strategy (2021)

Outlines the government’s vision for scaling up the production and utilisation of hydrogen in the economy. It identifies a possible role for hydrogen in heating a small number of homes by 2050, and outlines how government will support some small-scale trial projects in the coming decade.

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Defining net zero for social housing

Published in July 2021, this paper discusses how to define ‘net zero’ for housing associations and outlines our role in the wider economy’s decarbonisation journey.

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The Sixth Carbon Budget - briefing

The UK’s Sixth Carbon Budget covers 2033-2037 and is the most comprehensive advice the Climate Change Committe has ever produced. It is a blueprint for a fully decarbonised UK.

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Where are housing associations on the path to net zero?

This report published in December 2020 outlines the findings from a survey with our housing association members.

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Climate Change Committee documentation

There are a variety of useful and important reports published by the Climate Change Committee which can inform our sector’s journey to zero carbon emissions.

Independent assessment of the UK’s Net Zero Strategy

This assessment of the government's Net Zero Strategy covers the strengths of the strategy and the issues that will need to be resolved quickly for it to be a success. 

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UK housing: Fit for the future?

Published just prior to the UK’s commitment to net zero by 2050, the Climate Change Committee published a detailed report on the state of UK housing and how it could be decarbonised.

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Net zero reports

In 2019, the Climate Change Committee published their advice to the government to support Parliament’s legislation of the 2050 net zero target.

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Sixth Carbon Budget

The most comprehensive advice the Climate Change Committee has produced yet. This is a blueprint for a fully decarbonised UK. It built on their net zero advice, recommends tough interim carbon reduction targets and outlines sector-specific decarbonisation trajectories, including this one for buildings. There work on buildings was supported by this accompanying report outlining housing’s likely and most efficient trajectory to zero emissions.

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2022 Progress Report to Parliament

The Climate Change Committee's latest Progress Report to Parliament details the impact of the pandemic on carbon emissions in the UK economy, and recommends a range of policy measures with buildings decarbonisation identified as a priority.

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Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund Wave 2.2 - £80m

Applications are now open for the latest round of funding, which will allocate £80m to social housing providers across England to help fund home energy efficiency upgrades. Submit completed applications via by the end of 19 January 2024. 

VAT reliefs for decarbonisation works

VAT on energy saving materials will be reduced from 5% to 0% from April 2022 to April 2027.

Funding from Energy Company Obligation - phase 4 (ECO4) 

ECO4 is running from 2022-2026 and social homes will be eligible for funding if they are EPC Bands E-G (some Band D will be eligible for 'innovation measures') and the residents qualify under the scheme.


In Autumn 2022, in response to the unprecedented increase in energy prices, the government announced proposals for an additional ECO+ scheme to run alongside and compliment ECO4 delivery. ECO+ will run from Spring 2023 until March 2026 at a value of £1bn over the three years. Under the proposals, ECO+ will support the installation of additional energy efficiency measures in around 410,000 homes.

Home Upgrade Grant (HUG) - £2.5bn

The Home Upgrade Grant supports upgrades to the worst performing off-gas grid homes in England. £150m was granted for the first phase, and a further £700m is available over 2022/23 to 2024/25 under the next phase. Social housing eligibility is limited but social housing providers can support local authorities in the preparation of applications and delivery of projects.

Heat Network Efficiency Scheme (HNES) 

HNES provides funding for public, private and third sector applicants in England and Wales to improve district heating or communal heating systems.

NHF briefings and responses

Social housing minimum energy efficiency standards

We are seeking members’ views by the end of August 2023 on minimum energy efficiency standards (MEES) in the social housing sector and to inform the NHF’s position ahead of a government consultation. 

Design of the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) 2023-2026 – consultation response

The UK government is seeking views on proposals for the Energy Company Obligation Plus (ECO+) scheme to deliver energy efficiency measures in homes across Great Britain from 2023-2026. 

NHF response to BEIS consultation on review of net zero policies

In September 2022, the BEIS Secretary of State commissioned a review of the net zero target. We've responded to the call for evidence which formed part of their consultation.

Phasing out the installation of fossil fuel heating in homes off the gas grid - consultation response

The government is seeking views on proposals to phase out the installation of fossil fuel heating systems in homes off the gas grid. 

Decarbonising heat in homes

Our response to Select Committee inquiry into decarbonisation

Smaller housing associations and the road to zero carbon

This briefing explores the policy context and challenges raised by our smaller members during these conversations, and importantly, outlines the support the National Housing Federation can provide on the road to zero carbon.

Heat and buildings strategy 

On 19 October 2021, the government released their long-awaited Heat and buildings strategy. The Heat and buildings strategy sets out how the government plans to eliminate ‘virtually all emissions arising from heating, cooling and energy use in our buildings’.

Defining net zero for social housing

The paper discusses how to define ‘net zero’ for housing associations and outlines our role in the wider economy’s decarbonisation journey. 

COP26: a briefing for housing associations

COP26 was the 26th edition of the United Nations’ annual climate change conference, officially titled the Conference of the Parties.

Who to speak to

Rory Hughes, Policy Officer