The government must leverage private investment in energy efficiency home improvements and low carbon heat to help avoid an estimated 10,000 deaths attributed to fuel poverty every year.
That’s according to a new report by the Association of Decentralised Energy (ADE), which suggests that policymakers need to make the capital investment in green retrofits and heat networks easier.
The ADE notes that energy efficiency retrofits are in most cases disincentivised with 20% VAT rates.
It also calls on the government to make VAT exemption for low carbon technologies that could improve the energy efficiency of the UK’s homes and future-proof them against the impacts of climate change.
Dr Joanne Wade OBE, Chief Strategic Advisor at the ADE, said: “It is unacceptable that in Britain today millions of families live in homes that are cold, damp and unhealthy.
“The decarbonisation of the energy system must include a transformation of our housing so that everyone can live in a comfortable, healthy home. Solutions that combine building fabric energy efficiency, efficient provision of low carbon heat and a smart, flexible electricity system are the only way to ensure this
A government spokesperson told ELN: “Improving energy efficiency is the best long term solution to tackling fuel poverty, which is why we are supporting households across the UK to improve their energy performance and reduce bills, having already invested £1.3 billion this year alone to upgrade up to 50,000 homes.
“We are continuing to support lower-income households via schemes including the Home Upgrade Grant, the Local Authority Delivery scheme and the Energy Company Obligation, have launched an extra £500m Household Support Fund for those most in need, and have confirmed that the Energy Price Cap will remain in place, shielding millions of customers from rising global gas prices.”