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More carrot needed for UK homes to go green

Katie Coyne07/09/2017 - 10:20

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Insulation targets will take a hundred years
Insulation targets will take a hundred years

It will take more than a century for UK homes to go green unless swift action is taken says a report from the WWF.

Research by the conservation NGO has found that 2025 insulation targets for homes will only be met in 100 years time if we don’t speed up the rate of progress.

Currently 20 per cent of total climate emissions result from homes and the Committee on Climate Change requires this to be cut by 10 per cent by 2025. Yet without action the WWF report found that carbon emissions from homes will actually rise by 3 per cent by 2030.

The WWF suggested that more Government subsidies and encouragements could spur on home insulation. A poll carried out for it by Populus found that 72 per cent of people would insulate their homes if there were subsidies available.

The WWF released its findings as it waited for the Government to release its plan this month detailing how it will reduce UK emissions to meet international obligations and targets.

Gareth Redmond-King, head of Energy and Climate at WWF said: ‘This report brings home the huge challenge we face if we are to meet our climate obligations. 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 is ruining out planet.’

The report - Getting the house in order - Priorities forhomes in the Clean Growth Plan – argues that uncertainty over the right mix of technologies shouldn’t mean inaction.

It stated: ‘It may be tempting to ‘go slow’ until the right answer comes into sharper focus, but all the while emissions will be rising and the opportunity to limit global temperature rise to well below 2C will slip further from reach.’ 

Insulating UK homes to the recommended standard by 2025 would save the equivalent emissions of taking 1.7 million cars off roads.

Meeting the target would also reduce domestic energy bills each year by half a billion. This is equivalent to £25 per household or up to £165 for the homes where improvements are made. It would also double the rate at which fuel poor households are lifted out of fuel poverty.

The Populus poll found that 85 per cent of people believe that saving energy in the home is important and 69 per cent were likely to check energy costs before buying or renting a home.

Redmond-King added: ‘Last year was the hottest on record. And 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.

‘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 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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