How ‘green’ are the parties’ property policies?

How ‘green’ are the parties’ property policies?
25th June 2024

In September 2023, Rishi Sunak delivered a speech on Net Zero, laying out the Conservative Party’s plans. In the introduction, he said, “When I look at our economic future, I see huge opportunities in green industry.” However, the main purpose of the speech was to announce that the Government was scrapping what they saw as some unrealistic current plans and targets, including:

  1. The ban on buying new gas boilers from 2035 – even for those whose homes would never be suitable for a heat pump
  2. Rented homes meeting a minimum C EPC rating (for new tenancies) by the end of 2025

In explaining why they were getting rid of these and other targets, he stated: “It cannot be right for Westminster to impose such significant costs on working people, especially those who are already struggling to make ends meet, and to interfere so much in people’s way of life without a properly informed national debate.” He added, “While we will continue to subsidise energy efficiency - we’ll never force any household to do it.”

Friends of the Earth has assessed and rated the four main parties’ policies on climate, energy, nature and the environment, scoring them out of 10 on the 10 biggest issues. Unsurprisingly, the Greens come out on top, but it is interesting that the Conservatives score is much lower than Labour’s. This perhaps demonstrates the consequence of adjusting policies to take greater account of people’s finances and appreciating the fact that it can take time to change lifestyles and habits.

So, with reducing carbon emissions to Net Zero by 2050 still very much a goal, what are the Conservatives and other main parties proposing in the way of ‘green’ policies related to housing and greener energy production as we head towards the election?



  • Last autumn, The Prime Minister announced £2bn for the Green Climate Fund, some of which will be used for retrofitting homes with insulation.
  • The Boiler Upgrade Scheme grant, to encourage people to replace their boiler with a heat pump, has already been increased by 50% to £7,500, and there’s a £5,000 grant available for installing a biomass boiler.
  • In terms of greener energy, they are committed to continued investment in offshore wind farms and have lifted the ban on onshore wind. They are also supporting the building of new nuclear power stations for the first time in thirty years.



  • Under its Warm Homes Plan, Labour pledges to cut household bills by up to £500 a year, by installing energy-saving measures, such as insulation, and giving local authorities the power and resources to upgrade homes in their area.
  • Labour also plans to create Great British Energy (GBE), a publicly owned clean generation company that will harness green power to cut energy bills and deliver energy security for the UK.
  • The party has stated that it plans to almost entirely remove fossil fuels from UK electricity production by 2030. However, this seems over-ambitious, with Aurora Energy Research estimating that replacing the electricity currently provided by gas-fired power stations would require:
    • The capacity of offshore wind farms to more than triple, and
    • Solar-powered and onshore wind generating capacity to roughly double


Liberal Democrats

  • They are promising improved standards in the energy efficiency of homes, with a big drive on insulation and a social energy tariff for the most vulnerable.


Green Party

  • Their Fairer, Greener Homes Guarantee promises investment of £145 billion over 10 years for grants to retrofit all homes that need it with appropriate insulation, as well as much stronger energy efficiency regulation and enforcement for the private rental sector.


Of course, all these are simply pledges at the moment and it could be some time before we have any more specific targets for things like raising the minimum EPC rating and having to make boiler and insulation upgrades by law.

However, the cheaper and easier it is to heat a home, and the more environmentally friendly it is, the more appeal it will have to many buyers and tenants, so it’s well worth investing in making energy efficiency and other ‘green’ upgrades when and where you can in the meantime.

If you’d like to discuss what specific improvements it might be worth making to your property, we’re always here to help. Just get in touch with your nearest branch and have a chat with one of the team.

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