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The Hidden Cost of Net-Zero: Rewiring the UK

July 17, 2020
By Mike Travers

Decarbonizing homes in the UK will come with many hidden costs, like rewiring every home, with total cost per household topping £7,000.

From the study:

Plans to decarbonise the economy will probably require homeowners to install:

• heat pumps

• electric vehicle charging points

• electric showers

• other electric devices.

The extra demand for electricity will overwhelm most domestic fuses, thus requiring homeowners to install new ones, as well as circuit-breakers and new distribution boards. Most will also have to rewire between their main fuse and the distribution network. In urban areas, where most electrical cabling is underground, this will involve paying for a trench to be dug between the home and the feeder circuits in the street.

In addition, increased demand along a street will mean that the distribution network will need to be upgraded too. This will involve installing larger cables and replacing distribution transformers with larger ones. Most urban streets will need to be dug up. In rural areas, where electricity is normally carried on overhead cables, it may be possible to just replace the wires, but it is more likely that cabling will have to be buried instead.

The cost to the country of rewiring alone will probably exceed £200 billion, or over £7,000 per household. This figure excludes the cost of new equipment, such as EV chargers, heat pumps and electric showers.