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In case you missed it or just need a refresh, earlier this week Prime Minister Rishi Sunak announced some changes to the government’s green commitments but insisted that he was still committed to reaching net zero emissions by 2050.

net zero

The phrase ‘Net Zero’ can get thrown around a lot. To put it simply, it means we are no longer adding to the total amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Greenhouse gases include carbon dioxide and methane.

So what are the changes and what do they mean?

The ban on the sale of new petrol and diesel cars has been delayed to 2035. The previous plan was to ban them by 2030. However, petrol and diesel cars will still be able to be sold second hand. The reasoning the Prime Minister gave for this change is to allow people more time to make the transition to electric cars as the upfront cost can be high.

The ban on the sale of new gas boilers has been delayed to 2035. And the government will introduce a new exemption for poorer households. The previous plan was to phase out all fossil fuel boilers by 2026. The Prime Minister stated that he does not want to force anyone to “rip out their existing boiler and replace it with a heat pump”.

Grants to help those make the transition from boilers to heat pumps to increase from £5,000 to £7,500. In his speech, the Prime Minister said the money will never need to be repaid.

The PM pledged to scrap policies that would force landlords to upgrade energy efficiency in their homes. In the previous policy, from 2025 new tenancies would only be possible on properties with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) of C or higher. And from 2028 this would apply to all existing tenancies as well. However, he still encourages households to upgrade their energy efficiency and said the government would still subsidise energy efficiency.

What could this mean for the UK’s Net Zero targets?

The Prime Minister says that despite these changes, the net zero target for 2050 will remain and calls this the “only realistic path” to get there.

The figures from government data shows that since 1990, UK emissions have fallen by 48.7% (excluding international aviation and shipping). However, some would argue that these cuts have been the easiest ones to make so far. Earlier this year the Climate Change Committee (CCC) warned that the UK’s effort to meet Net Zero commitments are already “worryingly slow”.

The CCC have yet to do the full calculations to be able to determine the carbon cost of these policy changes.

What will this mean for you?

Well, in the UK approximately only 1 out of 5 people can afford to buy a new car. So, the plan to ban the sales of new petrol and diesel cars after 2035 will only really impact this 20% of people. They already had six years until they would have had to choose between fully electric vehicles and hybrids, they now have 11 years. The other 80% are people who buy second-hand cars – for these there is no ban or phase-out date still.

The planned ban on the sale of all new gas boilers was due to start in 2035 for all households. This is only now relevant when your boiler breaks or you choose to switch.

How can Green Energy Switch help you?

Reaching the 2050 net zero target is critical and everybody should be playing their part in helping to get there.

At GES, our ultimate goal is to lower the carbon footprint of organisations and homes and push towards net zero.

Whilst the PM has pledged to scrap policies that would force landlords to upgrade the energy efficiency of homes to an EPC rating of C or higher by 2025, having an EPC rating of E or higher is still a legal requirement for landlords to be able to sell/ re-let a property. Check out our EPC service here.

Despite the 5-year delay on the ban on the selling of diesel and petrol cars, the transition to electric cars is still inevitable. We offer a fully managed, competitively priced EV charger installation service for businesses and homes to help ease this transition. Click here to find out more.

We also offer a range of other services which can help landlords and tenants alike. View our full range of services here.

Together, we can make homes and businesses more sustainable and contribute to a brighter, greener future.


Rishi Sunak delays petrol car ban in major shift on green policies – BBC News

2022 UK greenhouse gas emissions: provisional figures – statistical release (

Could Rishi Sunak’s green review threaten UK net zero? – BBC News

2023 Progress Report to Parliament – Climate Change Committee (

What is net zero and how are the UK and other countries doing? – BBC News

Rishi Sunak: Cars, boilers and net zero – key takeaways from PM’s speech – BBC News

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