A simple assessment of housing retrofit policies for the UK: what should succeed the energy company obligation?

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Title: A simple assessment of housing retrofit policies for the UK: what should succeed the energy company obligation?
Authors: Miu, LM
Wisniewska, N
Mazur, C
Hardy, J
Hawkes, A
Item Type: Journal Article
Abstract: Despite the need for large-scale retrofit of UK housing to meet emissions reduction targets, progress to date has been slow and domestic energy efficiency policies have struggled to accelerate housing retrofit processes. There is a need for housing retrofit policies that overcome key barriers within the retrofit sector while maintaining economic viability for customers, funding organizations, and effectively addressing UK emission reductions and fuel poverty targets. In this study, we use a simple assessment framework to assess three policies (the Variable Council Tax, the Variable Stamp Duty Land Tax, and Green Mortgage) proposed to replace the UK’s current major domestic retrofit programme known as the Energy Company Obligation (ECO). We show that the Variable Council Tax and Green Mortgage proposals have the greatest potential for overcoming the main barriers to retrofit policies while maintaining economic viability and contributing to high-level UK targets. We also show that, while none of the assessed schemes are capable of overcoming all retrofit barriers on their own, a mix of all three policies could address most barriers and provide key benefits such as wide coverage of property markets, operation on existing financial infrastructures, and application of a “carrot-and-stick” approach to incentivize retrofit. Lastly, we indicate that the specific support and protection of fuel-poor households cannot be achieved by a mix of these policies and a complementary scheme focused on fuel-poor households is required.
Issue Date: 8-Aug-2018
Date of Acceptance: 1-Aug-2018
ISSN: 1996-1073
Publisher: MDPI AG
Journal / Book Title: Energies
Volume: 11
Issue: 8
Copyright Statement: © 2018 by the authors. Licensee MDPI, Basel, Switzerland. This article is an open access article distributed under the terms and conditions of the Creative Commons Attribution (CC BY) license (
Sponsor/Funder: Economic & Social Research Council (ESRC)
Engineering & Physical Science Research Council (E
Natural Environment Research Council [2006-2012]
Funder's Grant Number: ES/M500562/1
150847 - EP/N021479/1
Keywords: 09 Engineering
02 Physical Sciences
Publication Status: Published
Open Access location:
Article Number: ARTN 2070
Appears in Collections:Faculty of Engineering
Centre for Environmental Policy
Chemical Engineering
Faculty of Natural Sciences

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