Knowledge gaps preventing homeowners from achieving net zero

Posted on Thursday, January 19, 2023

In order to avoid the worst impacts of climate change and preserve a liveable planet, global temperature increase needs to be limited to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. Achieving Net Zero - cutting greenhouse gas emissions to as close to zero as possible, is one way we can help to reach this target.

"The UK’s homes are some of the oldest and least efficient in Europe, and there are a variety of ways that people can improve their overall energy efficiency"

Achieving a Net Zero Britain by 2050 is the target set by the government in a bid to reign in the severity of the climate crisis, with the outgoing UK business climate expert, Nigel Topping, claiming that this could even be achievable by 2040 following bolder policy decisions from those in power.

Buildings count for nearly a quarter of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, so it’s not surprising that a third (33%) of homeowners say that contributing to the country’s net zero targets is important and the reason they would make improvements to their home - according to research by Mortgage Advice Bureau.

However, it appears that there is a low awareness amongst homeowners regarding the interim targets set by the government to fast-track progress and propel the country to a zero-carbon future.

Since the initial 2050 net zero deadline was announced in 2019, the government has introduced additional measures as part of the pathway to reaching this goal. Yet a shocking two-thirds (66%) of those surveyed didn’t know anything about the Heat and Buildings Strategy – the drive from the government for landlords to raise their EPC to band C or higher by 2023.

In addition, although homeowners want to be part of the net zero effort, it is apparent that there is insufficient public knowledge on how to actually action this in their property, as a fifth of respondents did not know which changes would make their home more energy efficient.

Greater awareness of the simple steps that homeowners can make to improve their EPC rating is needed for the UK to reach the net zero targets in place. This is one of the central aims of Mortgage Advice Bureau, which want to raise awareness of why it is so important to pay closer attention to the energy that Brits are wasting.

Ben Thompson, deputy CEO of Mortgage Advice Bureau, says: “The UK’s homes are some of the oldest and least efficient in Europe, and there are a variety of ways that people can improve their overall energy efficiency. More costly examples include retrofitting insulation and upgrading windows and doors, but there are cheaper ways, such as through the use of fabric draft excluders, thicker curtains or water heater jackets (for those who have one).

“It’s clear that the UK is wanting to become more environmentally friendly, and there are benefits to those that do go green, with possible outcomes including reduced energy bills and a higher property value.”

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