Greening up our homes

03 March 2009

A great British refurbishment is planned - to cut emissions and reduce energy costs

The Department of Energy and Climate Change has unveiled a plan for all UK homes to be near zero carbon emissions by 2050. British households will be able to receive expert, targeted help to reduce their fuel bills and access low-carbon heat and power in their homes, under an ambitious long-term Heat and Energy Saving strategy.

The draft plan sets out the need to reduce household carbon emissions to almost zero, in order for the UK to achieve its ambitious target of an 80 per cent cut in emissions by 2050. By 2030, the aim is for whole-house improvements to be available to householders in every home, in every street.

Energy and Climate Change Secretary Ed Miliband said: "We need to move from incremental steps forward on household energy efficiency to a comprehensive national plan - the Great British refurb.

"We know the scale of the challenge: wasted energy is costing families on average £300 a year, and more than a quarter of all our emissions are from our homes.

Photo: London Eco House shows energy saving improvements

"Energy efficiency and low-carbon energy are the fairest routes to curbing emissions, saving money for families, improving our energy security and insulating us from volatile fossil fuel prices.

"We cannot afford not to act.”

Colin Butfield, Head of Campaigns at conservation organisation,WWF-UK said, “A mass retrofit programme for the UK is critical to the UK achieving our carbon budget targets, and the Government must act quickly to implement some of the
solutions outlined in this consultation.” However WWF is concerned that there is no indication of extra funding to roll out these plans and believes there needs to be a vast increase in additional Government financing. “We urgently need to see some substance behind the headlines to put us on track to meeting our climate change targets,” Butfield added.

The diminution of household emissions is essential if the UK is to reach its target reduction of 80% by 2050, and the government needs to ensure funding is available for the Great Refurb if it is not to become the Great Deferred.

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