Joint letter to the Secretary of State (BEIS) about the decarbonisation of homes

29 March 2022

As part of our ongoing work on climate change and sustainability, we have today joined NatWest and others who signed a letter to the Rt Hon Kwasi Kwarteng MP, Secretary of State for the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS) on measures the government can take now to ensure we can deliver energy efficiency this decade.

With the Energy Independance Plan expected in the coming days, we urge the government to recognise the potential of energy efficiecny. It is the best way to insulate people against rising energy costs and essential for acheiving the national target of net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

Copies of the letter were also sent to Jonathan Reynolds, Shadow Secretary of State, Ed Miliband, Shadow Secretary of State for Climate Change and Net Zero and Darren Jones, Chair of the BEIS Committee.

Dear Secretary of State,

Last year’s Heat and Buildings Strategy was very welcome and provided a much-needed framework of incentives to tackle head-on the decarbonisation of the UK’s buildings. Without it, achieving net zero will remain an out of reach ambition.

Learning lessons from past policies, the strategy provided clarity on the Government’s long-term ambition for decarbonising the UK’s built environment, with strong and bold targets.

Against the backdrop of unprecedented rises in the cost of energy and the heightened concerns over energy security, it is more important than ever that we have the policies and cross-sector coordination to enable us all to deliver on the goals set out in the strategy.

We believe that one of the best ways to deliver on the goals is to retrofit the UK’s building stock. Such measures will insulate consumers from rising energy prices, make progress on the Prime Minister’s Green Industrial Revolution and level up while staying on track to meet our net zero goals.

As organisations committed to drive the take-up of energy efficiency across the UK, we want to work with Government to give consumers and small businesses the confidence to take action now when it comes to energy efficiency, with particular regard to how it can transform the quality of lives of those on lowest incomes and in least efficient homes.

We welcomed the Chancellor’s VAT announcement in the Spring Statement, but to meet your bold targets, we believe it is essential that the Government does the following:

  1. Galvanise Citizen Action: Undertake a major public information campaign around the easiest measures to address energy efficiency.
  2. Ensure prioritisation through data: Commission a national housing audit to understand the exact state of the housing stock.
  3. Social Housing First: Double down on funding and ambition in the social housing sector with clear timetables to allow us to build a robust supply chain that can support a major step up in energy efficiency delivery.
  4. Local Authority Roll Out: Support local authorities with funding while mandating targets for delivery.
  5. Stamp duty reform: Adjust stamp duty based on the energy efficiency of a home and provide a rebate to households who improved their energy efficiency within two years of buying.
  6. Skills and Kite Marks: Invest in skills funding to address current bottlenecks in workforce and introduce trusted kite marks for consumers to build confidence.
  7. Recognise the true value of Energy Efficiency: BEIS’s whole system cost modelling needs to be adopted to recognise the significant value of investing in energy efficiency.
  8. EPC Reform and Enforcement: Reform energy performance standards so they rely on actual energy use and set enforcement expectations on local authorities.

We also believe that greater emphasis should be placed on making the customer journey as clear and simple as possible. As illustrated by the Sustainable Homes and Buildings Coalition in its report ‘Home is where the heat is’, consumers need clear pathways, designed around their property type and current circumstances, if they are to leap into the retrofit journey.

We will continue to collaborate and work with Government to ensure that progress is made on this crucial agenda and would welcome the opportunity to meet with you to discuss how to take some of these ideas forward.

Should you wish to contact us, the Secretariat will be able to assist. It can be joined by email on

Best regards,

David Lindberg - CEO, NatWest Retail
Carl Arntzen - CEO, Worcester Bosch
Laura Sandys CBE - CEO, Challenging Ideas
Chris O’Shea - CEO, Centrica
Osama Bhutta - Director of Communications, Policy & Campaigns, Shelter
Rhys Moore - Executive Director, National Housing Federation
Professor Sadie Morgan OBE – Founding Director, dRMM Architects Nick Molho - Executive Director, Aldersgate Group
Adam Scorer - CEO, National Energy Action
Julie Hirigoyen - CEO, UK Green Building Council
Ed Lockhart - CEO, Future Homes Hub
Bukky Bird - Group Sustainability Director, Barratt Developments plc