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A new survey carried out by E.ON and the Local Government Chronicle [LGC] has exposed a bit of worrying data. Apparently many senior figures in local government feel that their authorities are unlikely to meet net zero targets. Chief executives and director-level officers from councils around the UK were asked relevant questions during the survey. Figures show that less than half of respondents [47%] agreed with the statement ‘I am confident my council is on track to deliver against its net zero targets’. Approximately nine out of ten [87%] of the official’s councils have set deadlines for themselves. Around three quarters [75%] stated that their councils had also set dates for their geographical areas to achieve net zero.
Many of the councils [64%] had set a target date as 2030, [a shorter time scale was set by only 7% of councils], and the latest date, [chosen by 12%] was 2050. When it comes to their wider geographical area, councils said they were allowing more time to prepare and meet net zero goals. Just less than half (47%) of the officers said their council was aiming for 2030 at the earliest and around a quarter (24%) said their council was aiming for 2050.
When asked about the difficult task of delivering changes towards reaching net zero, the survey found:
- An overwhelming 92% believe that all new build homes should be constructed to net zero standards.
- Heat pumps are generally believed to be the answer and offer a sustainable solution, reducing fuel poverty and easing the climate crisis. Three in five people (58%) agreed on this point.
- The single most important way towards net zero is thought to be greater energy efficiency.
People felt that energy efficiency is the top factor followed by EV infrastructure, solar panels, heat pumps and district heating schemes.
Michael Lewis, Chief Executive of E.ON UK said, “Our survey shows what’s lacking are the next steps in exactly how we get to a low carbon society. That starts with improving the energy efficiency of existing homes, swapping gas boilers for heat pumps, developing a greater role for district heating schemes in urban areas, and inspiring people to switch from petrol and diesel to electric vehicles.
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