Achieving net zero goals in residential buildings

by Ludovica Gazze

28 Sep 2023
Journal of the British Academy
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Abstract: This paper discusses recent evidence of a large, unrealised energy savings potential in the UK residential sector. It discusses authoritative policy reviews critiquing the Net Zero Strategy and the Heat and Buildings Strategy as well as the economic literature on the energy-efficiency gap. These sources point to four main potential explanations for the lack of progress towards net zero in residential buildings in the UK: 1) historical and current untargeted subsidies to energy prices (e.g., energy price guarantee); 2) poor scheme implementation and lack of workforce training; 3) regulatory barriers such as planning restrictions and lack of policy coordination across stakeholders; 4) split incentives. To overcome these barriers, the paper recommends better access to data to foster evidence-based policy-making and support for innovative, local-authority-led projects.

Keywords: Energy-efficiency gap, energy price guarantee, planning restrictions, policy coordination, scheme implementation, residential buildings.

Article posted to the Journal of the British Academy, volume 11, supplementary issue 4 (Governance Factors on the Road to Net Zero)

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