At least 100 years needed for UK homes to go fully green

4th September 2017

A ‘business as usual’ approach to energy efficiency will mean at least 100 years of UK homes failing to go totally green, according to a new report from the WWF.

It reveals that homes account for 20% of the country’s climate emissions, and that these could be 3% higher by 2030 without new policies such as improving insulation.

This would fall far short of the 10% decrease in emissions required by the Committee on Climate Change, and put the UK’s international climate obligations in jeopardy.

However, a poll by the WWF found that 72% of people would insulate their homes if there was a government subsidy available, suggesting a public appetite to make a change.

“With extreme weather and flooding costing lives and livelihoods from Bangladesh to Texas, we are all seeing the effects of climate change. It is real and it’s happening now,” WWF head of energy and climate, Gareth Redmond-King, said.

“The UK government needs to take seriously their international obligations. Stopping climate change should start at home – in fact, it should start in people’s homes.”

The research shows that insulating UK homes to the recommended standard by 2025 would save the equivalent emissions of taking 1.7 million cars off the road.

In addition, it would wipe over half a billion pounds from domestic energy bills each year, make homes warmer and healthier, and double the rate at which poor households are lifted out of poverty.

The UK government is expected to publish a plan this month outlining how it intends to reduce emissions, with the WWF saying that the speed at which homes are insulated must be tripled, with four million improved by 2025.

In addition, the NGO argues the plan must:

  • Set a long-term target to improve the energy efficiency of all homes
  • Fix loop-holes that allow landlords to continue to rent out the coldest properties
  • Tighten standards to prevent the continued construction of high-carbon new homes
  • Provide new incentives to encourage householders to make improvements to their homes
  • Fund future fuel poverty schemes from capital budgets and double annual funding in England to enable the fuel poverty eradication target to be met.

“This winter too many people will be living in cold homes that leak and waste energy. This is piling hundreds of pounds onto people’s fuel bills, as well as damaging their health, and ruining our planet,” Redmond-King continued.

“The Clean Growth Plan must prioritise giving support to people to make sure their homes use as little energy as possible, otherwise, our homes really will cost the earth.”


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