17 Mar 2008 09:03:38
Home improvements 'could cut carbon emissions'
The UK could further reduce its carbon footprint by making energy-efficient improvements to existing housing stock, an industry expert has claimed.
According to a new study conducted by the Empty Homes Agency entitled New Tricks with Old Bricks, the group claims more carbon dioxide could be saved by making green refurbishments to existing homes than constructing zero-carbon dwellings.
"The government advocates the building of new homes as a means of creating properties which cut carbon emissions, but the initial construction process alone accounts for a very large proportion of carbon emitted over a building's lifetime," said Henry Oliver, a policy adviser at the Empty Homes Agency.
He added refurbishment could be a more proactive solution to domestic carbon emissions and explained that it is important to ensure work constructing or refurbishing green homes is not done in haste, as quality work will require fewer repairs in the long-term.
Meanwhile, the Energy Saving Trust has indicated that energy-efficient improvements such as loft and cavity wall insulation could help UK homeowners cut their carbon footprint and potentially save hundreds of pounds on their annual fuel bills.