We heard more about the energy efficiency plans of the Government. The statement refers to the fact that the “The Government is also developing private rental sector minimum efficiency standards, which are expected to benefit over 2 million households in England and Wales, helping them save on their energy bills and significantly reducing fuel poverty in the private rented sector”. There was no further detail in the statement itself but this presumably refers to the government’s intention (as stated in the Energy White Paper 2020) that it wants as many existing homes as possible to hit EPC Band C by 2035, where practical, cost-effective and affordable. The government ran a consultation on this (see here) which ran from 30 September 2020 to 8 January 2021. As far as we are aware, the outcome of this consultation has still not been published (see here).
To help households improve energy efficiency and keep energy costs down – as well as supporting the UK’s long-term Net Zero ambitions – the government is extending the VAT relief available for the installation of energy saving materials (e.g. solar panels and wind pumps) by introducing a time-limited zero rate (for 5 years). The changes will take effect from April 2022. The government states that a typical family having roof top solar panels installed will save more than £1,000 in total on installation, and then £300 annually on their energy bills. However, given the current challenges of increased living costs it remains to be seen how many homeowners will be able to fund the up front costs to benefit from this.
Higher global energy and goods prices have already put pressure on household budgets