Insulating homes better should be a bigger priority for the Government than funding new heating technologies.
That’s according to the Institute for Public Policy Research (IPPR).
It says the government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) could cost taxpayers up to £860 million, but is unlikely to prove either attractive to or cost-effective for householders.
The Institute’s report ‘Warmth in a changing climate: How should the government encourage households to use renewable heat? believes that only wealthier people will be able to go for renewable heat technologies as the responses from focus groups indicated that many are put off by the high upfront costs of installing new technologies.
The groups also said they were “sceptical” the new technologies would deliver enough heat at an acceptable price.
IPPR associate director for climate change, energy and transport, Andrew Pendleton, said: “Decarbonising household heat is essential if the UK is to meet its climate change targets.
“But the government’s current approach is the wrong one. Providing a Feed-In-Tariff (FIT) style for heat production rather than offering a package of measures aimed at providing warmth risks undermining consumer confidence in heat technology.
“A tariff-based incentive will also fail to address the high capital costs, identified as the key barrier in IPPR’s consumer workshops.”
The report concludes by stating while cutting emissions from household heating is important, costs across the economy could be higher than anticipated and take-up may be low.