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Government targets need 13,400 house refurbs a week

The Government will miss its own refurbishment target unless 13,400 homes are refurbished every single week, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

The Government has set a target of 7 million whole-house makeovers by 2020, which would consist of upgrading the basic insulation of a home and then adding other measures such as water efficiency, advanced insulation or microgeneration.

However, the EST estimates that 6m homes still need cavity wall insulation and half of all UK houses don’t have the recommended levels of loft insulation.

The release of the statistics coincides with the EST’s launch of its new Sustainable Refurbishment guide at the Ecobuild exhibition at Earls Court, which opens tomorrow.

The guide will assist the housing industry to take a whole house approach to upgrading the energy performance of existing homes and will show how to achieve an ambitious 80% reduction in carbon emissions from a range of different homes: applying home improvements that go well beyond those required in current building regulations.

EST chief executive Philip Sellwood said: “With the Government’s 2016 zero-carbon homes policy we have a clear trajectory to achieving very low-carbon new homes in England.

“We need a similar roadmap towards a low-carbon existing housing stock – laying out a set of standards we expect our homes to reach in 2015, 2020, 2030 and 2050. Our refurbishment guidance is an important contribution to developing that roadmap – showing how different types of homes can reach the 80 per cent carbon reduction target.

“An existing homes roadmap will give an incentive for homeowners to invest in home improvements and a clear signal to builders and installers to train staff to be able to deliver the energy and carbon saving measures.”

About Fiona Russell-Horne

Group Managing Editor across the BMJ portfolio.

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