Think tank calls for net zero delivery authority

Achieving the decarbonisation of energy, home heating and transport at scale will require the creation of a net zero delivery authority, says think tank.
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The Heat and Buildings Strategy and Net Zero Strategy set ambitious targets and commitments to bring the UK in line to achieve our net zero goals. Achieving the decarbonisation of energy, home heating and transport at scale will require the creation of a net zero delivery authority, says cross-party think tank Policy Connect, in a new report co-chaired by Darren Jones MP, Wera Hobhouse MP and Alexander Stafford MP and sponsored by Baxi Heating, E.On, Energy & Utilities Alliance, IGEM and Worcester Bosch Group.

An estimated 400,000 rental properties in the UK have their gas boilers replaced every year. A net zero delivery authority could achieve decarbonisation of home heating at scale, supporting and co-ordinating action across government departments and working with local partners. Connecting the Watts also recommends that government introduce more incentives such as the recently announced Boiler Upgrade Scheme, to incentivise homeowners to adopt low-carbon heating early, at key points such as home renovation or sale. These actions are essential if we are to reach the government target of phasing out gas boilers by 2035, as stated in the Heat and Buildings Strategy; this is just one area of many in which a net zero delivery authority could help make net zero happen.

The authority would:

  1. Lead work to decarbonise on the ground, working with local government and other partners. In particular, work with local government and partners regarding the rollout of decarbonisation measures, such as energy efficiency upgrades and net-zero heating, and inform local plans such as street-by-street approaches.
  2. Engage with communities and local government on how independent advice and support can be made available to people to make low-carbon choices. Government should roll out local consumer net zero advice hubs in support of this.
  3. Convene work with local partners to inform comprehensive net-zero skills plans, helping to deliver on government’s green jobs targets in the Energy White Paper and Net Zero Strategy. To support this, government should provide stronger regulation of new and improved skills standards in addition to incentives to expand and equip the workforce needed to deliver net zero.
  4. Facilitate the delivery of net zero strategies, taking a whole-systems approach across government departments.

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