Former chancellor George Osborne’s decision to scrap the Zero Carbon homes policy is costing occupants of new-build homes more than £200 per year, essentially three times the targeted savings from Ofgem’s price cap.
New analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit has found that the policy move, one of the newly-elected Conservative government’s first in the spring of 2015, has cost owners of new-build homes £120 million in additional costs to date.
And that figure is set to rise to more than £2 billion by 2020 as further newly-built homes are occupied.
The Zero Carbon Homes policy was due to come into effect in 2016, having been first announced in 2006 by then-chancellor Gordon brown. The policy would have ensured that all new houses would have had to generate as much energy on-site as they consume, dramatically slashing energy bills and delivering vital carbon emissions reductions from the built environment.
But the policy was scrapped just months before it was due to come into force, prompting angry responses from opposition parliamentarians and the energy and building sectors alike.
Ex-energy secretary Ed Davey, a staunch critic of Conservative energy policy, described the scrapping of the Zero Carbon Homes policy as the “worst thing the Tories have done” in the autumn of 2015, comparing the decision against a packed field of clean energy cuts.
In addition, the ECIU points to the fact that carbon emissions from UK homes have in fact risen over the past two years, coinciding with a period of time in which the UK has lacked a comprehensive domestic energy efficiency scheme.
Jonathan Marshall, head of analysis at the ECIU, said that successive governments have struggled to devise effective domestic energy efficiency schemes, contrasting with the Zero Carbon Homes policu that “could have made a real difference”.
“As well as future-proofing new homes, the policy would have saved families money, reduced Britain’s vulnerability to energy supply shocks, and cut carbon emissions.”
The good news is – you don’t need this policy in place – you can choose to have a more efficient home………….