Net zero delays add thousands to bills

Missed savings and impact of climate and energy costs add up to £2,150 to UK household bills in 2022.

If the UK had shifted away from oil and gas more quickly to technologies including renewables, home insulation, rooftop solar panels, heat pumps and electric vehicles, households could have been saving around £1,750 on energy bills in 2022.

On top of this, £400 has been added to food bills this year due to the impact of climate change and oil and gas prices on the food and farming system. The combined impact on a household’s bills could potentially be in the order of £2,150.

For the UK as a whole, the costs of slow deployments of net zero technologies, such as the ban on onshore wind, the cutting of insulation programmes and the slowdown in rooftop solar panel installations, could be in the region of £39 billion.

The analysis, The cost of not zero in 2022 , by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) comes at the end of a year that saw a record-breaking heatwave with temperatures reaching 40.3 °C that was made ten times more likely by climate change.

Commenting, Jess Ralston, Head of Energy at ECIU said: “The IMF says that the UK is over-reliant on gas and that particular chicken has come home to roost this year with many households struggling to pay their bills.

“It’s clear that had investments in home insulation, onshore wind and other net zero technologies been made earlier, homes could be thousands of pounds better off.

“Upfront investments are needed, but just as green levies on bills have built a renewable energy industry delivering cheap, clean electricity and jobs, the paybacks are measured in thousands of pounds for homes and billions for the UK as a whole.”

Britain was the first G7 country to commit to reach net zero emissions, but progress on climate and energy policies and the shift to newer, cleaner technologies has either slowed or not been as ambitious as other countries such as Estonia and Poland on heat pumps and Norway on electric cars.


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