A report published this week stating that the government urgently needs to improve thermally inadequate homes to help it achieve its 2050 energy efficiency targets has been welcomed by insulation specialist Actis.
The Committee on Climate Change’s statutory 2017 Report to Parliament outlines a number of measures which need to be tackled to enable it to comply with the Climate Change Act – which legally requires a reduction in emissions of 57 per cent by 2032 compared to 1990 levels, and of at least 80 per cent by 2050.
In addition to factors such as speeding up low carbon electricity generation, increasing electric vehicle numbers and setting out a strategy for carbon capture and storage, improving the thermal efficiency of existing housing stock as a matter of urgency is essential, says the report.
CCC chairman, Lord Deben, said: “The impact of climate change on our lives and those of our children is clearer than ever. The UK has shown global leadership on climate change, but progress will stall at home without urgent further action. New plans, for a new parliament, are needed as a matter of urgency to meet our legal commitments, grasp the opportunities offered by the global low-carbon transition, and protect people, businesses and the environment from the impacts of a changing climate.”
The report states: “Existing and new buildings need to be affordable to run and be healthy to live in as the climate warms, while emissions from buildings need to fall significantly. This requires a clear strategy for energy efficiency that addresses risks from overheating and accelerates the delivery of energy efficiency measures.
“In passing the Climate Change Act, with its clearly articulated timetable for new policy and new actions, parliament deliberately chose to ensure action to tackle climate change was not a hostage to “events”. The “events” of the past year have been, by almost any measure, exceptional. However, it is now time for government, and for parliament, to act. Climate change is happening, not waiting. It is neither justifiable nor wise to delay further.”
Since 2012, emissions reductions have been largely confined to the power sector, while emissions from transport and the UK’s building stock are rising.
The government’s Clean Growth Plan, originally due in late 2016 has now been promised in the autumn.
Mark Cooper, national sales director at Actis said: “The UK has amongst the worst housing stock in the whole of Europe when it comes to energy efficiency – and it’s responsible for a third of our carbon emissions.
“The collapse of the Green Deal and the removal of the zero carbon standard have not helped. And neither has the perception that retrofitting is disruptive. It can be, but it doesn’t have to be that bad – depending on the construction of the house and the type of insulation materials used.
“Loft insulation is particularly easy when using Actis Hybrid products. It’s quick, easy clean, dust free and involves minimal waste. And because it’s thin it doesn’t really impact on the headroom.”