Energy Efficiency

A nationwide programme to upgrade the UK’s housing stock will be essential to meeting the country’s 2050 climate commitments, a new report says. The report, released today by the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Nottingham Trent University, says 26m such retrofits will be needed between now and 2050 – effectively every home in the country, at a rate of around 1.5 homes every minute. This means a one-off “deep retrofitting” approach will be needed, whereby the energy efficiency of a home is significantly improved all at once rather than incrementally, it adds. Four out of every five homes that British people will be living in in 2050 have already been built, the report says. Retrofits of current houses will, therefore, play a pivotal role in meeting the UK’s climate targets. Home energy demand currently accounts for around 20% of the UK’s greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and more than three-quarters of this demand comes from space and water heating.

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A nationwide strategy to roll out deep retrofits is the only way the UK will meet its legal targets to cut carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, a report from the Institute of Engineering and Technology and Nottingham Trent University said. It would also deliver savings for the NHS, which has to spend £1.4 billion a year in treatments for conditions arising from bad housing. And combining the energy efficiency retrofits with installing measures to make homes fit for an ageing population could cut social care costs and GP visits, the report said. Costs are currently high, as much as £90,000 per home in an Energiesprong pilot of 10 homes in Nottingham, so the report is calling for 3,500 pilot homes in the next two to three years and 25,000 in a five-year period. This would cost several hundred million pounds and subsidies will be needed in the initial phase to help build supply chains and bring down costs. But more than nine million homes in the UK are suitable to be transformed in this way, with more than two million of them social housing. So the experts say councils and housing associations could help get the programme under way. The report calls for a long-term cross party plan to establish a national programme of deep retrofitting, and engaging with consumers, reducing costs, building the supply chain and encouraging investment.

Daily Mail 11th Oct 2018 read more »

The UK cannot build its way to a low-carbon future without retrofitting the UK’s old, cold homes to meet 2050 climate targets, a new report from the Institution of Engineering and Technology (IET) and Nottingham Trent University states today. Deep retrofitting is a whole-house approach to upgrading the energy efficiency in one step as opposed to a series of incremental improvements over a long period of time. This includes: Adding solar panels and local micro generation*, insulation and ventilation, and sustainable heating systems. The report calls for both national and local Government to take the lead in encouraging and supporting the necessary changes, which include: Create clear, consistent policy objectives and a national programme for deep retrofit and climate resilience, with an initial focus on social housing. Reduce costs and build the supply chain capacity by developing more pilot projects and demonstrators. This will bring the cost-per-property to below 30-year repair, maintenance and refurbishment budgets. This is a big economic opportunity for the supply chain. Engage with the home owners by identifying the best ways to discuss the benefits of deep retrofit and developing trusted intermediaries to be a single point of contact for owners and tenants. Encourage investment by creating larger projects that are more attractive to investors, by aggregating smaller retrofit projects into bigger blocks and introducing more flexible ways for local authorities to borrow and invest in retrofit programmes.

IET 10th Oct 2018 read more »

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Published: 11 October 2018