Research

Recipient: The Centre for Policy Studies

Grant Funding: £50,000

Using Carbon Taxes to Decarbonise Fairly

The United Kingdom has decarbonised its economy markedly since 1990, but this success has not been shared equally between sectors.  These imbalances should raise concerns for Government from a social justice perspective.  In addition, peculiarities within the energy sector have doubly loaded decarbonisation costs onto poorer households – the nascent carbon tax which exists for electricity generation, for example, means those on dual fuel tariffs (which tend to be better off households) pay disproportionately less than those with sole electric tariffs (which tend to be less well-off households).

Supported with a grant of £50,000 from the Ebico Trust, the Centre for Policy Studies is undertaking research to assess how (on a sectoral basis) the UK has decarbonised, where the main costs of decarbonisation have landed, and how this has impacted different demographics in different ways. 

Aims

  • To examine how decarbonisation has taken place in the UK in recent decades – in which sectors and through which policies.
  • To consider the merits and demerits of carbon taxes to iron out market distortions and help decarbonise the economy in such a way that is fair and balanced.

Report anticipated June 2021


Recipient: CAG Consultants and Association for the Conservation of Energy

Grant Funding: £56,000

The Warm Arm of the Law: reducing fuel poverty in the private rented sector

With funding of £56,000, the Ebico Trust supported a joint CAG Consultants/ACEUK research project which looked at the extent to which the Housing Health and Safety Rating System (HHSRS) and Minimum Energy Efficiency Standards (MEES) were being proactively implemented and enforced by local authorities across England and Wales. HHSRS and MEES gives local authorities the legislative power to improve energy efficiency in the Private Rented Sector (PRS).

Compared to other tenures, the PRS in England has the largest proportion of energy inefficient F and G rated properties, and 45.7% of PRS households living in such properties are in fuel poverty.

As the PRS continues to grow, tackling the energy efficiency of these properties will become increasingly important. However, achieving this in the PRS has been historically challenging since landlords have little incentive to invest in the efficiency of their properties given that it is their tenants who pay the energy bills.
The research identified several recommendations around improving the implementation and enforcement of HHSRS and MEES. The outputs from the research project included a policy report and a toolkit. The policy report highlighted the opportunities to increase energy efficiency and reduce fuel poverty in the PRS, while the toolkit provided practical advice for local authorities on how to ensure they are realising the full potential of the energy efficiency legislation already in place.