Decarbonising homes for better health: Levelling up through the energy transition

How can the objectives of net zero homes, improving indoor air quality and levelling up health inequalities come together to deliver great public benefit? 

This was the topic of discussion at a Policy Connect roundtable, bringing together stakeholders across our health, carbon monoxide safety and net zero workstreams.

The event found: 

  1. Moving away from carbon-based fuels in the home can bring environmental, security and public health benefits, in terms of both indoor and outdoor air quality, support for cost of living, jobs and the local economy, and other levelling up benefits.
  2. However, schemes need to take account of ability to pay, levels of deprivation, and other risks of entrenching inequality further and instead be designed to create better outcomes and ensure a just transition.
  3. The best way to do this is to speed up energy efficiency and retrofit programmes at local level and give local authorities the powers and the resources to target support better.
  4. Delivering decarbonisation in homes across the UK will require a trained and experienced workforce. Engagement with training providers, employers and professional bodies would be valuable to build sector confidence and inform long-term planning and preparation for the future workforce.
  5. Perception of upfront cost is denting customer demand. Lessons must be learned from other technology implementation: clear, stable, long-term policy creates confidence for households and for supply chains that lowers costs, drives innovation and creates economies of scale.

We were very pleased to be joined by: 

  • Clive Betts MP for Sheffield South East and Chair of The Levelling Up, Housing and Communities Select Committee
  • Baroness Finlay of Llandaff, Crossbench Peer Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lords) and Co-Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Carbon Monoxide group (APPCOG)
  • Lord Duncan of Springbank, Conservative Party, Deputy Chairman of Committees (Lords)
  • Dr Danielle Butler, Senior Research and Policy Officer at National Energy Action (NEA)
  • Sophia Haywood, Director of Public Affairs at Liquid Gas UK
  • Dan Meredith, Senior Manager - External Affairs, E.ON
  • Beatrice Barleon, Head of Policy and Public Affairs at EngineeringUK