The UK risks missing its net zero target by limiting the climate transition only to higher income households, according to a new report by Legal & General.
The government’s new boiler strategy will see £5,000 pound grants given to households to swap out gas boilers for lower carbon options such as heat pumps. However, the move risks locking out lower income households from making the switch, Legal & General has warned.
With heat pumps costing around £10,000 on average, including installation, it means households looking for a lower carbon option will need to have another £5,000 in their back pocket for the grant to be of use.
The funding gap for heat pumps could be as much as £15,000, Legal & General added. While the gap is over £4,000 for the installation of solar panels.
“Currently, the UK runs the risk of creating two visions of Britain: one where more affluent communities’ benefit from the green and clean technologies of the 21st century, and another where less affluent communities do not,” Legal & General CEO Nigel Wilson said.
“Climate transition cannot be restricted to the better off. If the UK is to successfully hit its carbon neutral target by 2050, this transition needs to take place in a socially inclusive manner.”
To ensure this outcome, the government must help local governments and households to adapt local infrastructure, Wilson explained.