NHF response to BEIS consultation on review of net zero policies

27 October 2022

In September 2022, the BEIS Secretary of State commissioned a review of the net zero target. We've responded to the call for evidence which formed part of their consultation.

As part of the review, the Chair, Chris Skidmore MP, is consulting with a range of stakeholders, including investors, industry, and experts in different fields, through a series of roundtables and direct meetings.

As part of this, we have responded to their call for evidence to share our views on the whole economy transition, maximising net zero growth opportunities, the challenges to address in this review and the future of net zero.

It is our view that reaching net zero is a generational opportunity to increase energy security, protect residents from fuel poverty and create new jobs. While there may be short-term costs associated with retrofit programmes, the medium and long-term effects are highly beneficial to the UK economy.

Summary of our response

  • Decarbonising England’s 2.8m housing association homes will mean warmer, more comfortable homes and lower bills for residents.
  • Housing association homes are already the most energy efficient of any tenure, with most housing associations aiming to ensure all their homes reach EPC C by 2030 at the latest.
  • Net zero is an opportunity to create jobs, stimulate the economy and end fuel poverty. IPPR modelling suggests that if the government invested £7bn in retrofit each year, it could sustain almost a million direct and indirect jobs by 2030.
  • A sustainability strategy focused on retrofit and installation of heat pumps would decrease the United Kingdom’s reliance on imported gas and thereby increase our energy security.
  • Housing associations plan to invest £70bn in their existing homes by 2050, but we estimate that they will need at least an additional £36bn to meet the net zero target. This represents an enormous contribution to local jobs and growth across the country.
  • Key challenges remain, particularly related to financing retrofit projects. This has been exacerbated by the current economic environment, with costs of materials and construction outstripping inflation.
  • In partnership with the government, the social housing sector has the purchasing power and strategic capacity to lead the development of supply chains, skills and job creation across the whole retrofit industry. But we would like reassurance over the long-term regulatory and funding environment for retrofit and decarbonisation projects. This would increase market confidence and stimulate the supply chain.

Net Zero Review: what housing associations need to know

Following the publication of the Net Zero review, Natalie Turner from our Policy team summarised the key points for housing associations.

Find out more

Who to speak to

Ewan Fulford, Policy Assistant