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News 15 December 2020 Updated 26 January 2021

New energy white paper sets out ‘fair and affordable’ transition to net zero

The UK Government released yesterday a new energy white paper that sets out how the UK will clean up its energy system and reach its target of achieving a net zero society by 2050.

The ‘Powering our net zero future’ paper builds on Prime Minister Boris Johnson’s recent announcement of his Ten Point Plan for a green industrial revolution. The white paper looks at how the UK will transform its energy system, promoting jobs and economic growth on the path the net zero.

A total of £12 billion in government investment has been set aside to create and support up to 250,000 green jobs across the country.

Group Head of Energy, Laura McGadie, said: “Energy Saving Trust welcomes the government’s new energy white paper – the first energy strategy since 2003 and an important milestone on the UK’s journey to achieving a net zero society by 2050. We are pleased to see the focus on consumers and the government’s recognition that, to be successful, the net zero transition must be fair and affordable for everyone.

“A notable positive step for helping householders is the white paper’s extension of the Warm Home Discount scheme to 2026, and the expansion of the scheme to support a third more low-income households with the cost of keeping their homes warm.

“Now we need to see a greater government focus on home energy efficiency – helping people to permanently reduce the energy needed to keep their homes warm. Emissions from heating our homes have only reduced by 15% since 1990 – compared to a 41% reduction for the whole economy.

“If homes are to contribute significantly to the ambitious new interim target of cutting UK emissions by 68% by 2030, we need bolder policy commitments. To help achieve this, government must bring forward the existing target for improving the energy efficiency of homes from 2035 to 2030, to align it with the net zero trajectory.

“Accelerating improvements in home energy efficiency requires standards, incentives, personally tailored advice for consumers and enhanced consumer protection. We hope to see clear commitments to these areas in the forthcoming Heat and Buildings Strategy.”

The paper provides further clarity on the measures announced in the Ten Point Plan, and sets out a strategy for the wider energy system that will:

  • transform energy, building a cleaner, greener future for the UK
  • support a green recovery by growing the economy and creating thousands of green jobs
  • create a fair deal for consumers, protecting the fuel poor, helping people save money on bills, and making homes warmer

Read the full energy white paper on the UK Government website.

Last updated: 26 January 2021