13 Jan 2023

CIH response to Mission Zero: Independent Review of Net Zero

The Independent Review of Net Zero, conducted by Chris Skidmore MP, has identified net zero as the “growth opportunity of the 21st century”. It concludes that significant additional government action is required to ensure that we meet our 2050 net zero target and do so in the best way possible for the economy and the British public.

The report - MISSION ZERO - recognises that decarbonising homes is essential to delivering net zero, energy security and supply, and reducing energy bills. As stated in the report, “the cheapest energy is the energy that we do not use”.

It makes a series of strong recommendations to improve the energy efficiency of our homes, including:

  • The Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) system should be updated to better reflect household carbon emissions, and be replaced by a “Net Zero Performance Certificate”
  • All homes (with minimal exclusions) sold after 2033 should have an EPC rating of at least C
  • Landlords should be required to provide information on “average bill cost” when letting out a property, which would establish a premium for more efficient homes
  • Government grants and funding schemes to support households who cannot afford the upfront cost of energy efficiency measures should be continued and expanded, including the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund
  • Government should continue to provide grants and other forms of support to encourage households to switch from boilers to heat pumps and confirm by 2024 the date for phasing out gas boilers – the review recommends that new and replacement gas boilers should no longer be sold by 2033
  • Government should consult and legislate to mandate the Future Homes Standard on all new homes by 2025, to ensure we are no longer building homes which will require retrofitting before 2050
  • Britain should launch a “rooftop revolution” and remove requirements to obtain planning permission for solar panels
  • Government should support the establishment of retrofit hubs by 2025, which would facilitate links between households and suppliers.

The report draws on over 1800 responses to the initial call for evidence and more than 50 roundtables held by Chris Skidmore. You can read the CIH response to the call for evidence here.

Responding to the Review, Annie Owens, CIH policy and practice officer, said:

"This review should be a clear call to arms for the government. It shows just how much we have to gain from investing in the transition to net zero, and how much is at risk if the government doesn’t take adequate steps to deliver it.

"The report recognises several barriers which have to date disincentivised investment from the sector in energy efficiency and low carbon heating, including the skills and supply gap, a lack of legislative certainty and a lack of information and advice for consumers on how to upgrade their homes. Government must take concerted action to address these barriers and deliver a national retrofit programme."