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News 18 March 2024 Updated 20 March 2024

Our response to the National Audit Office’s decarbonisation report

The National Audit Office has published a report examining the progress the Department of Energy Security and Net Zero (DESNZ) has made in decarbonising home heating. The report looks at what progress has been made since the Heat and Buildings Strategy was published three years ago.  

The report analyses the progress government is making to roll out heat pumps in homes and sets out recommendations to support DESNZ in its approach. 

We contributed to the report, identifying: 

  • A lack of support beyond generic advice, leaving people unsure about where to start with what can be a complex retrofit process.
  • The need for impartial, personalised advice for households in England to help them make improvements to reduce their home’s carbon emissions, including low carbon heating options.

Responding to the findings of the NAOs report, Decarbonising Home Heating, Stew Horne, head of policy at Energy Saving Trust said:  

“The NAO’s findings highlight the clear gap between the government’s heat pump ambitions and people’s awareness of and confidence in the best low carbon options for their home. It’s in the government’s interest to address the full picture to make heat pumps an attractive and financially viable option.  

“This means putting in place mechanisms to reduce the running costs of heat pumps in the first place. As the report outlines, one way this could be achieved is by removing legacy support costs from electricity bills.  

“Market mechanisms are one part of the picture. People should be supported from the very start of their heat pump journey with consistent, impartial and tailored advice on how to navigate what can be a complex home retrofit process.  

“The lack of consistent provision of tailored energy advice in England, remains a significant barrier. The cost of setting up a digitally-led advice service would be a fraction of the amount being committed by this government to decarbonise homes.

“It would, however, maximise uptake of existing funding schemes, help galvanise the market and would therefore have a high return on investment.   

“We urge the government to review the recommendations put forward today.”


Stew Horne, head of policy at Energy Saving Trust, comments on the NAO decarbonisation report.

Last updated: 20 March 2024