Insulating our homes to become a ‘National Mission’
We welcome the latest initiative from Government to introduce ECO Plus Grants worth up to £15,000 to make homes more energy efficient by funding the installation of loft installation., cavity wall insulation and smart heating controls. It’s a practical and realistic approach, that on first glance, looks like it has more legs than the failed Green Deal and Green Homes Grant. The fund is aimed at households who are able to pay, unlike the Affordable Warmth Scheme which is aimed at households who are less able to pay. We welcome this as RetrofitWorks has been campaigning for energy efficient upgrades for every home in the UK since we were first established. A new £18m public information campaign will also offer advice on how to reduce energy use in the home and according to Government will “enable thousands more to insulate their homes, protecting the pounds in their pockets and creating jobs across the country”.
It’s a well-known fact that the UK has some of the oldest and least energy efficient houses in Europe, with an estimate of 12 million UK homes rated D or below on their Energy Performance Certificates. This travesty that has been put firmly under the spotlight during the recent cost of living and energy crisis, where people are literally being forced to choose between eating or heating. Our thoughts go out particularly to those vulnerable people who at the time of writing, are enduring consistent sub-zero temperatures and what has been described as the coldest December night for a decade.
Insulating our homes is the single-most important step we can take to reduce our energy bills, bring down inflation and tackle the climate crisis. Currently 46% of homes have an energy efficiency rating of C or above, up from 13% in 2010, according to BEIS. The Energy Saving Trust has said that installing 270mm of insulation, in a home with none, can cost between £455 and £640, depending on whether it is terraced, detached or a bungalow. But the pay back is forever. It’s not one of those short term, stop gap measures we’ve seen in the past where money is thrown at a problem for short term benefit, but wasted, unsustainable in the long term and does nothing to help the fight against climate crisis.
We understand that solutions will not magically reap rewards overnight, but we need to at least be consistent with the direction of travel on the road to Net Zero by 2050. One of the biggest contributions we can make to accelerate the speed of this journey is by decarbonising our current housing stock via a strategic national retrofit programme.
To see the work that we are doing to help accelerate change, visit www.retrofitworks.co.uk