28 Oct 2022

CIH response to the net zero review call for evidence

The Chartered Institute of Housing (CIH) welcomes the opportunity to respond to the Government’s net zero review, which is considering how we can meet our net zero targets in a way that supports growth and business opportunities.

In our response, we have emphasised the growth opportunities and wide range of other benefits that would arise from delivering energy efficiency measures in existing homes and building new low-carbon homes.

Annie Owens, CIH policy and practice officer, said:

"Even with the Government’s energy bills support, seven million households will be in fuel poverty this winter. The best way to reduce the amount people must spend to heat their homes, now and in the future, is to invest in energy efficiency measures. We have the leakiest homes in Europe, so there is significant scope to reduce our reliance on gas to heat our homes by improving their energy efficiency and moving to low-carbon heat sources.

"As well as helping households struggling to pay their energy bills, a national energy efficiency programme would have wider benefits. There are clear growth opportunities through the number of jobs that could be created – research by the IPPR shows that a government retrofitting programme could sustain over 400,000 direct jobs and 500,000 indirect jobs by 2030.

"Plus, there would be wider societal benefits and savings from helping to ensure that people don’t have to live in cold homes. Living in a cold home is terrible for people’s health, as the cold can cause damp and mould to develop; treating the resulting illnesses costs the NHS £857 million annually. Investing in energy efficiency measures could prevent these health issues developing and generate substantial savings for the NHS and wider public system, which could then be invested elsewhere."

To support progress on energy efficiency measures in our homes, we are calling for:

  • Further investment in energy efficiency funding schemes like the Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund, with longer timescales for submitting bids and completing works
  • Support to tackle the skills gap and develop more trained retrofitters across the country
  • A clear commitment to net zero targets from the government, including the introduction of minimum energy efficiency standards for rented housing.

You can read our full response to the call for evidence here.