The decision to scrap the Zero Carbon Homes policy is costing occupants of new-build homes more than £200 per year on their energy bills.
That’s the suggestion made in a new analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), which suggests former Chancellor George Osborne’s decision to cancel the scheme in 2015 has resulted in owners of new-build homes collectively paying more than £120 million in additional energy costs.
It expects this figure to rise to more than £2 billion by 2020 as more and more new dwellings are occupied.
The Zero Carbon Homes policy was due to come into effect in 2016 after nine years of discussions but was cancelled six months before it was due to be implemented.
It would have ensured that all new dwellings would generate as much energy as they consume, as well as seeing they would be built to the highest standards to improve efficiency and reduce fuel poverty.
The UK currently has some of most inefficient homes in Europe – they are currently responsible for more than half of heating-related energy consumption.
The organisation suggests around 55% of MPs support the re-introduction of Zero Carbon Homes, with only 18% being opposed.
Dr Jonathan Marshall, ECIU Head of Analysis, said: “Successive governments have struggled to devise effective domestic energy efficiency policies, meaning carbon emissions from homes are rising but Zero Carbon Homes could have made a real difference.
“As well as future-proofing new homes, the policy would have saved families money, reduced Britain’s vulnerability to energy supply shocks and cut carbon emissions.”