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Laying the foundations for net zero: Putting households at the heart of the energy transition

29 January 2020

Government needs to support individual families in reaching net zero in the way they use energy at home, says the Association for Decentralised Energy (ADE) in its report, ‘Laying the foundations for net zero: Putting households at the heart of the energy transition’, released today at the ADE's annual Winter Reception at the House of Commons. 

Dr Joanne Wade OBE, 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. Our report shows that policymakers can now press on with confidence, to help families become net zero at home.

In the report the ADE has studied the energy system from the perspective of the householder; the person or people living in the house that switch the lights on and off, decide when, where and how much to heat their rooms, and bring their personal behaviours to bear on the property.  

The report recommends:  

  • Better data will be essential in allowing householders, service providers and government to understand how we- collectively and individually- use energy and what system requirements are needed to support that 
  • Better buildings will support the delivery of a net zero system at far lower cost and with far greater co-benefits than without them 
  • Better financing will facilitate the change by making it more affordable for all householders to take the necessary action 

Stephen Huller, a member of HMG’s Green Finance Task Force, said: 

It is encouraging to see the same three themes consistently being recommended as part of the consumer solution. A market working in harmony is one which will allow financiers to consider product development innovation.

The report was produced in consultation with ADE members, representing over 160 businesses operating in the energy markets for power, efficiency, heat and flexibility. 

Lily Frencham, Head of Operations at the ADE, said: 

Net zero really can begin at home. In this report, we are recommending what needs to be done now, how Government can legislate and regulate so businesses can get on with launching the innovative and exciting products and services we need to get to net zero- on time and at scale.

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