UK 'must insulate 25 million homes'
A staggering statistic, where experts state that one home, every single minute, will need to be refurbished in the UK between now and 2050 has been published in a latest report.
The report by the UK Green Building Council (UIKGBC) has highlighted what Elmhurst and other experts have been campaigning for years that the UK successive Governments have failed to tackle the UKs poor housing stock, which continue rather embarrassingly to be amongst the worst in Europe.
The Government said that it would devise policies to soon as possible. But UKGBC have said that ministers have been too slow to impose a national programme of home renovation which would save on bills but vitally improve people’s health, comfort and happiness. It would also create certainty in the market and create thousands of jobs.
The report recommends:
- Setting staged targets for refurbishing buildings
- Reintroducing the "zero-carbon" standard for buildings from 2020
- Recognising energy efficiency as a national infrastructure priority
- Setting long-term trajectories for ratcheting up home energy standards
- Obliging commercial buildings to display the amount of energy they use
Julie Hirigoyen, Head of the GBC, told BBC News there was a great prize to be grasped in upgrading building stock: "People will have warmer homes and lower bills; they will live longer, happier lives; we will be able to address climate change and carbon emissions.
"We will also be creating many thousands of jobs and exporting our best skills in innovation."
"Driving up demand for retro-fitting homes is essential for any policy to be a success - the Green Deal told us just offering financial incentives isn't necessarily the only solution. We need to make it all easy, attractive and affordable."
"The good thing is that the business community is really starting to recognise the opportunity."
In line with Elmhurst thinking the Government have recently slashed funding in ECO, FitS and RHI, halted Green Deal and scrapped zero carbon standards for new build. All in all, the only noise coming from Government is that if you switch your suppliers home owners will save money. This is a ‘sticking plaster’ policy approach.
Home energy expert Russell Smith backs this assessment up stating: "Switching saves on average £25 a year. That's not much help to a person in fuel poverty. The solution is refurbishing homes, but it's difficult, so politicians keep putting it on the back burner."
Elmhurst welcomes this report and suggest that strategic policy is put together with a long term vision, which gets the UL population out of the some of the worst performing homes in Europe. The ‘tweak’ to the only policy in town ‘ECO’ is not about getting insulation into the right homes, it is just a numbers game, and as we have stated many times the measures will not go to the right families in the poorest energy efficient homes. What is needed is a bold strategic vision which starts making a difference, rather than short term policies and lack of coherent strategy. The data is available upon which to build upon, we need to start to engage with Industry and allow innovation to help out the UK families. Short term sticking plasters will not get us anywhere.
For more information:
You can read the UK Green Building Council report, ‘Building Places that work for everyone’ here.