Housing

Six million poorly insulated homes to face £320 ‘surcharge’ from April

The government is looking at scrapping a scheme that makes low-income homes more energy efficient.

insulation

"The whole of society can benefit financially from a low carbon economy," said a Resolution Foundation researcher. Image: Unsplash / Erik Mclean

Soaring energy bills will hit those living in poorly insulated homes the worst, according to new research highlighting the true cost of the government’s inaction towards insulating Britains’ homes and the worsening cost of living crisis. 

Families living in homes with an energy efficiency rating E or worse will face annual heating bills at least £320 higher than those living in C-rated homes from April, according to new research from the Resolution Foundation.

While homes with poor insulation have always been more expensive to heat, the scale of the difference is laid bare in the findings.

Four million homes have an E insulation rating, while 1.5 million families live in homes with an even worse rating of F, and will face a surcharge of £390.

The government’s green homes target will require landlords to insulate privately rented properties to a C-rating by 2028, but there is no plan for the two-thirds of households who are homeowners. 

In April, the energy price cap is expected to rise by around £700 at the same time as new taxes are levied and inflation is driving up the costs of everyday goods

The Bank of England has warned Brits to prepare for the steepest drop in living standards for 30 years as the cost of living crisis sets in from April. Interest is predicted to soar to 7.25 per cent, meaning the cost of everyday goods like groceries will rise even further while wages continue to stagnate.

“It is vital that the Government ramp up progress in insulating homes and reducing the costs of public charging points for electric vehicles so that the whole of society can benefit financially from a low carbon economy,” said Jonny Marshall, senior economist at the Resolution Foundation.

The key to delivering Britain’s net zero transition, will ultimately depend on “delivering the infrastructure around (low-carbon technologies) – such as better insulating Britain’s housing stock,” he continued. 

The new report, produced in collaboration with the LSE, funded by Nuffield Foundation, calls on the government to reverse “the previous decade of abject policy failure on home insulation.”

In a bid to tackle rising energy costs, the government is looking at scrapping a scheme that makes low-income homes more energy efficient, The Guardian recently reported.

The Energy Company Obligation (ECO) is a £1bn levy on energy bills which helps to pay for installation of energy efficiency measures in low-income households. Experts have warned, however, that removing the levy would save little money – about £29 on the average bill – and would ultimately leave poorer households paying the price.

Support the Big Issue

For over 30 years, the Big Issue has been committed to ending poverty in the UK. In 2024, our work is needed more than ever. Find out how you can support the Big Issue today.
Vendor martin Hawes

Recommended for you

View all
TSB Bank forced to change buy-to-let mortgage policy after renters' furious sit-in protest
Renters from Acorn union occupied TSB branches to force a climbdown on buy-to-let mortgages
Renting

TSB Bank forced to change buy-to-let mortgage policy after renters' furious sit-in protest

Beat the Streets music festival funds new homes for rough sleepers: 'If we could do more, we would'
Homelessness

Beat the Streets music festival funds new homes for rough sleepers: 'If we could do more, we would'

Rents in UK are rising at highest rate in decades. Will they keep going up?
rents uk
Renting

Rents in UK are rising at highest rate in decades. Will they keep going up?

Scotland needs real-time rough sleeping count to save lives
rough sleeping and temporary accommodation in Scotland is under the spotlight on Buchanan Street in Glasgow
homelessness

Scotland needs real-time rough sleeping count to save lives

Most Popular

Read All
Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits
Renters: A mortgage lender's window advertising buy-to-let products
1.

Renters pay their landlords' buy-to-let mortgages, so they should get a share of the profits

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal
Pound coins on a piece of paper with disability living allowancve
2.

Exclusive: Disabled people are 'set up to fail' by the DWP in target-driven disability benefits system, whistleblowers reveal

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over
next dwp cost of living payment 2023
3.

Cost of living payment 2024: Where to get help now the scheme is over

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know
4.

Strike dates 2023: From train drivers to NHS doctors, here are the dates to know