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54% doubt the UK will reach Net Zero by 2050

A new index released by British Gas will track each year how UK families feel about the journey to Net Zero, their role in it and readiness to make changes to their home and lifestyle. The Summer 2022 British Gas Net Zero Homes Index is 57.5.

The Index reveals that when it comes to Net Zero, there is widespread awareness, but limited understanding. When Net Zero was explained, 71% of the public agreed that it was the right thing to do. On average, people believe that the UK will reach Net Zero closer to 2075 rather than 2050.

According to the results, climate change is ranked as the fourth most important issue facing the country; with younger people more willing to act and more willing to pay for measures that cut household emissions. Climate change is considered more important by the public than immigration, taxation, housing or Brexit. But unsurprisingly, fears over the cost of living have risen to make this the dominant priority for the British public.

When asked what the Government should prioritise to deal with the cost of energy bills, the top responses were to build more low-carbon energy sources such as wind and solar farms (52%) and to make people's homes more sustainable by installing more insulation (46%).

The research also showed concerns about the gaps in Government policy to deliver on the Net Zero target, with 54% saying they were not confident that the Government would cut emissions sufficiently by 2050. In fact, 19% respondents were so pessimistic they thought that the UK would never achieve Net Zero. 51% of respondents said higher energy prices made them more likely to look at:- "installing energy efficiency products" in the next 12 months.

Positively, there was a recognition of the need for changes to be made at home, with 78% saying they were willing to make changes in their own homes to help tackle climate change. Among homeowners, 48% said they were willing to install improved insulation in the next 2 years and 42% said they'd be willing to install solar panels.

Electric vehicles also saw some support from consumers with 35% willing to install a home charger to power an EV, support was stronger in built up areas, such as London.

The data shows that there is more uncertainty about low carbon heating. When asked what they would replace their existing boiler with, 37% said a similar gas or oil fired boiler and only 14% said they'd choose a heat pump. The majority of responses (38%) said they didn't know what they would choose.

Despite the fact that 20% believe that there is nothing the UK could do to stop climate change, the UK has made good progress in recent years to reduce emissions and turn to more renewable energy sources. 87% of the public said they supported building more solar power, 84% supported more offshore wind and 81% supported building more onshore wind. New nuclear was more controversial with 48% support.

Andrew Middleton, Managing Director of British Gas Net Zero says:- "We hope that this index will help to measure changing attitudes over time and understand how people are feeling about choices in the lead up to the Net Zero target, particularly in light of these difficult economic times. It highlights where there are some uncertainties; such as heat pumps and how to decarbonise heating; where we can focus the support we give to customers. Supporting our customers in lowering their emissions at home is at the forefront of our plans. We are committed to working with Governments, regulators and legislators to ensure we have the right policies and frameworks in place to achieve net zero by 2050. Our engineers have installed over 8,000 electric car charging points, have installed over 700 heat pumps and are improving insulation and providing solar panels around the country each day. Focusing on the critical areas of power, heat, transport and the gas network, we hope to accelerate the journey to Net Zero."

British Gas is launching a new Net Zero business unit whose sole mission will be to support customers with the journey to net zero by helping them become more energy efficient.

British Gas has the largest energy engineering workforce in the country, with 7,000 engineers who are highly trusted by customers. These are the engineers who will install and maintain the electric vehicle charge points, hydrogen blend ready boilers, heat pumps and more that will be needed to deliver Net Zero in the UK.

The index found that British Gas is the most trusted energy supplier to deliver on Net Zero with 42% trusting British Gas to help them reduce emissions from their home. And the workforce of skilled British Gas engineers is even more trusted, with 53% saying they'd trust an engineer to provide advice on how to reduce emissions from their home.

British Gas is currently offering heat pumps for £4,999 and expects to install over 1,500 in the next year in a mix of private homes and social housing. Its Hive smart thermostat product which is in almost 2 million homes has also been shown to reduce gas consumption and save an average of £311 per household.

Help and advice warns 1 in 10 have received unsolicited approach about pension transfer

WITH pressure on finances not seen for decades, Help and Advice is warning against the danger of pension scammers, as 12% of people say they have received an unsolicited approach about a pension transfer.

Latest analysis of data of 1442 completed assessments within Help and Advice's Pension Scam Assessment, has shown that the average scam likelihood score was 24%, indicating that nearly a quarter of cases had red flags associated with them. Analysis from previous quarters in 2022 can also be viewed online.

A phone call is the most popular way for an unsolicited approach to be made. Of those receiving a call, 9% of people were being pressured into making a quick decision and 16% of people were told that the advisor could achieve higher than average investment returns.

Saq Hussain, Founder of People-tech of which Help and Advice is part of, said:- "It is shocking but sadly unsurprising that in the last 3 months, more than 1 in 10 people have received an unsolicited approach regarding a pension transfer. Most worrying is that our analysis shows a clear and significant increase from the start of the year, an indication perhaps of how the cost of living crisis might be a route in for scammers. Even though cold calling has been banned, people are still being approached in this way. We developed our Pension Scam Assessment to help anyone considering doing a pension transfer to work out the likelihood of it potentially being a scam. If someone is looking to undertake a pension transfer we urge them to complete our Pension Scam Assessment for a sense check. It is free, simple and easy to use, raising warning flags based on answers to a range of questions, with clear signposts about what to do next."

The Help and Advice Pension Scam Assessment is simple and easy for people to use. There are 20 straight forward questions relating to the tactics that a pension scammer might use to coerce them into transferring their pension. No personal details are needed. Once complete, the likelihood of the pension transfer being a scam is displayed, listing the red flags and explanations. If concerns are identified, individuals are then instructed to:-

Stop doing anything further with the transfer.

Contact the advisor to get answers to the questions raised by the red flags identified by the tool.

Contact their pension company, pension administrator, the employer or trustee to which the pension relates, ask to stop any transfer payment and determine whether the pension is being transferred to a legitimate pension scheme.

Report to the Financial Conduct Authority (FCA) by contacting their Consumer Helpline on:- 08001116768, or using the scam reporting form at:- FAC.Org.UK.

Report to Action Fraud on:- 03001232040 or visit:- ActionFraud.Police.UK.

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