Heating: Rural Areas

Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy written question – answered on 23rd July 2019.

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Photo of Steve Double Steve Double Conservative, St Austell and Newquay

To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy, whether the Government’s heat strategy include a comparative assessment of the costs associated with improving an Energy Performance Certificate between (a) rural homeowners and landlords that are off the gas grid and (b) homeowners and landlords are on the gas grid.

Photo of Chris Skidmore Chris Skidmore Vice-Chair, Conservative Party, Minister of State (Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) (Universities and Science) (Joint with the Department for Education)

I have committed to publishing a Heat Policy Roadmap in in 2020 which will set out the programme of work required to enable key strategic decisions in the first part of the 2020s over the future of low-carbon heating. BEIS officials will be working closely with stakeholders as they develop its content.

The annual running costs of a Band C rated home are £650 lower than the average Band E rated home. This is why we set out our aspiration in the Clean Growth Strategy that as many homes as possible should be EPC C Band C by 2035 where practical, cost effective and affordable. We estimate that between £35 - 65 billion of investment will need to be mobilised to meet that aspiration.

There is not one ‘silver bullet’ policy that will drive uptake of energy efficiency amongst homeowners and so we are committed to building a vibrant and sustainable market through introducing a suite of mutually supporting policies and measures. These include a £5 million innovation fund to help mortgage lenders develop innovative green mortgage products in support of home energy efficiency and a £10m innovation fund to reduce the cost of whole house retrofit. Low income and vulnerable households are also supported in making energy efficiency improvements under the reformed Energy Company Obligation (ECO) scheme. ECO is worth £640m a year and has already installed 2.5 million measures since 2013.

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