13 Oct 2008 05:10:40
Energy efficiency in existing stock needs boosting
Energy efficiency programmes on up to 25 million homes must be urgently carried out if the UK is to reduce its carbon emissions by 80 per cent by 2050, according to the UK Green Building Council (UKGBC).
In a report, the UKGBC claims that to reduce emissions to the level recommended by the Committee on Climate Change (CCC), the existing housing stock will have to be made significantly more energy efficient.
While the report recognises that insulation projects have been advancing well, it calls for the government to make more homes energy efficient.
The report notes that 80 per cent of the homes that will be used in 2050 have already been built and that housing currently accounts for 27 per cent of carbon emissions.
From 2016 all new homes will have to be zero-carbon, but already built homes will still contribute significant emissions unless steps are taken.
The report puts forward the "pay as you save" idea, a modification of the green mortgages plan. Under this scheme homeowners borrow the cost of equipment and installation and pay it back as they recoup their costs through savings on energy bills.
Paul King, chief executive of the UKGBC, said: "We've been throwing our money out of the window. Spiralling fuel costs and concern about climate change now call for a revolution in attitude and approach."
The government has so far adopted a target of cutting emissions by 60 per cent by 2050, though the CCC has called for the higher target, one which Scotland has already adopted.http://www.ukgbc.org/site/news/showNewsDetails?id=104