Decarbonising heat in homes

17 November 2020

Our response to Select Committee inquiry into decarbonisation

The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) Select Committee has launched an inquiry into decarbonising heat in homes.

We welcomed the opportunity to respond to the inquiry, and submitted a written response to the inquiry, after consulting with our members across England.

The social housing sector has a good track record in delivering thermally efficient homes. As our submission to the Treasury’s forthcoming Spending Review makes clear, a retrofit revolution led by the social housing sector would not only cut carbon emissions and help fight climate change but would also create jobs, support local economies, cut fuel bills and help tackle fuel poverty. This could also pave the way for a nationwide rollout of an ambitious retrofit programme across all housing tenures.

There are, however, significant challenges to overcome if we are to retrofit at scale and pace and decarbonise our heating and our homes by 2050. Our response explores some of these challenges in detail, including:

  • The need for long-term funding solutions that are well designed, fair and sustainable.
  • The need for a comprehensive roadmap to achieving net-zero in the sector, including a clear definition of net-zero, milestones, and the championing of low-risk technology.
  • The need to ensure that those on the lowest incomes and those in fuel poverty – many of whom live in social housing - are not penalised or excluded from retrofit programmes.
  • The need for a concerted and long-term campaign to inform and educate all consumers, including residents, and to drive demand for low carbon heating.
  • The creation of a Decarbonisation Task Force, made up of key stakeholders, to advise Ministers and oversee progress.

We look forward to engaging further with the Select Committee on this inquiry. If you have any queries, then please email kevin.garvey@housing.org.uk and rob.wall@housing.org.uk.

Who to speak to

Rob Wall, Head of Policy