Govt Underestimates Net Zero Housing Refits By £300 Billion

By Paul Homewood

The Global Warming Policy Forum (GWPF) has welcomed a new parliamentary report that accuses the government of seriously underestimating the cost of decarbonising Britain’s homes.

The cost warnings by MPs has serious repercussions for owners of energy inefficient homes who face the prospect of unsellable properties just over seven years from now.

The Climate Change Committee (CCC) has recommended that no UK homes can be sold from 2028 onwards unless they meet the minimum Energy Performance Certificate rating. According to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee 19 million home owners would have to spend an average of £18,000 to reach that target.

Last year we warned that the capital cost of decarbonising housing was likely to approach £1 trillion. BEIS and the Committee on Climate Change, however, are insisting it can all be done on the cheap. Now at least some of their misleading claims have been exposed by MPs,” GWPF director Benny Peiser said.

The report, from the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee, says that bills may run to an average of £18,000 per property, with the cost of heat pumps to be added, but without even considering the costs of installation larger radiators that will be required in most homes.
The Committee’s own estimates, however, are still too conservative. The committee’s £5000 figure for installing heat pumps is simply not credible.

It is clear from the committee’s report that BEIS was highly deceptive in its cost estimates while BEIS and the Climate Change Committee still refuse to publish their cost calculations. They need to come clean with the public.

Dr Peiser warned that the astronomical costs of Net Zero risks becoming toxic for the government in coming years.

The economy is in tatters and yet the government expects struggling households to spend tens of thousands of pounds to comply with its Net Zero agenda. The government should reject the Climate Change Committee’s recommendation on decarbonising buildings or face being responsible for making millions of homes unsellable.”

For further information see

Net Zero cost-sheet: The Cost of Decarbonising Housing

While the Committee has criticised the government, it must also be pointed out that the Committee on Climate Change came up with virtually the same costings as the government have in their Net Zero plan two years ago. However they also reveal that the CCC put an overall cost of £250 billion for decarbonising homes, including low carbon heating systems.

The new, higher costings are based on detailed estimates provided to Leeds City Council:

An average cost of £19300 for 19 million homes adds up to a bill of £366 billion. As GWPF rightly point out, installing heat pumps/radiators will be much more than the estimate of £5000, probably at least £15000, as the BEIS themselves state:

In any normal world, the Environmental Committee would be calling for a full inquiry into these costs, before any further action was taken.

Instead they want the government to press on even faster with the programme, without stopping to ask themselves who is going to pay the bill.

The basis of their argument is, in any case, wholly flawed. They claim that energy efficiency is vital if the UK is to meet its climate targets.

This is balderdash. No matter how energy efficient homes are, they will still need energy. If this can be supplied by wind power, then simply build more wind farms.

Instead, it gives the impression they know that the country cannot be run on renewable energy alone, and that energy rationing may be the norm in years to come. Get your homes insulated, if you don’t want to freeze!

This whole saga is just another chapter in how successive governments and the CCC have sought to cover up the crippling cost of the Climate Change Act and Net Zero. Inadvertently the Environmental Committee have just let one of the cats out of the bag.


March 22, 2021 at 10:12AM