In January 2019, an energy price cap entered into force across England, Scotland and Wales.

The move will, the Office of Gas and Electricity Markets (Ofgem) predicts, save some 11 million householders an average of £76 a year on their electricity bills.

Consumers could, however, have saved almost three times that amount if the Government had not cancelled the Zero Carbon Homes policy, according to a new report.

Occupants of homes built since 2016 should now be saving more than £200 per year on their energy bills, the report from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) argues.

Available at eciu.net, Zero Carbon Homes: How Owners of New Homes are Paying Over the Odds for Energy points out that the UK’s lack of a wide-reaching domestic energy efficiency scheme has seen carbon emissions from homes rise slightly over the past two years.

The Zero Carbon Homes policy was due to come into effect in 2016, but was cancelled by the Treasury just six months before the implementation date. Yes, the initiative could have made a real difference, Dr Jonathan Marshall, ECIU Head of Analysis, has suggested.

“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,” he explained.

The easiest way to reduce the cost of heating homes is to increase building efficiency, according to the report, because by ensuring that less heat is wasted through windows, walls and roofs, less fuel needs to be burnt.

Tackling new build homes is one of the easiest ways of improving the UK’s leaky housing stock, Dr Marshall added, and reintroducing the Zero Carbon Homes policy could also deliver a boost to firms involved in insulation and low-carbon heating.

Last reviewed 27 February 2019