The government must support individual families in reaching net zero through how they use energy at home, the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) has said.
On 29 January, the ADE published its report, Laying the foundations for net zero: Putting households at the heart of the energy transition, in which it looked at the energy system from the perspective of a householder. It explained that the best way to reach net zero would be through creating a system where customers can both understand and access the “considerable benefits” of the energy transition. Such a transition would be one where people are living in more comfortable homes, can afford to meet their energy needs, make a real difference towards mitigating climate change, and do not have to personally bear excessive cost or risk.
The ADE cited three interrelated areas of intervention that would be able to start creating such a change – better data, better buildings and better financing – and made a series of recommendations for each.
On better data, the ADE’s recommendations included mandating truly intelligent home data, stating that by 2030, every household should have access to useful data about their home’s energy and performance, along with along with smart controls that enable them to manage energy use and respond to market opportunities. For better buildings, it said government should look to create a demand pull for fabric efficiency in households, driven by Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards trajectories for all tenures, while prioritising improvements for people in vulnerable circumstances. When it comes to better financing, the government should implement a rising, net zero compliant price on carbon for households’ energy use in 2030 – exempting the fuel poor until 2040, as well as introduce a low-carbon transition support fund for householders, replacing the soon-to-close Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive.
Dr Joanne Wade, ADE Deputy Director, said: “To deliver net zero is no longer just an ambition, it is a legal requirement. We have to realise net zero across all sectors and households are no exception. We all agree that the best way to reach net zero is by creating a system where people live in more comfortable homes, can afford their energy bills and are making a real difference in fighting climate change without personally bearing excessive costs.”