A cross-party survey of MPs shows that they want to scale up the installation of renewable heating technologies in existing homes, including those in the private rental sector.
The survey, commissioned by the MCS Charitable Foundation, does not give details of the number of MPs questioned. However, it says that some 56 per cent believe it should be made a priority for the UK’s 29m existing homes to have a green energy retrofit.
More than three quarters believe that small-scale renewables such as solar photo-voltaic panels, 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 surveyed.
Other proposed measures include a phase out of fossil fuel rebates and subsidies, offering zero per cent 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, a fifth 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, a spokesman for the foundation says: “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 zero per cent 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.
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