A new report from the IET and Nottingham Trent University calls for a nationwide program of home insulation improvement in order to meet the target reduction in CO2 emissions.
The UK government agreed to a goal of reducing CO2 emissions by 80% by 2050, relative to the 1990 levels. Heating and hot water in our homes is responsible for 15% of greenhouse emission, this needs reducing to meet the goal. Existing homes will house 80% of us in 2050, so achieving the saving from only new builds is impossible says the report. It states, Home insulation improvement on existing homes is essential.
The Report’s Recommendations
The report calls for a national programme of “Deep Retrofits.” The aim to make homes zero carbon. This would involve:
- Improving home insulation by adding cladding to walls
- Replacing roofs
- Installing solar panels
- Installing double or triple glazing
- Changing to heat pumps from traditional boilers
Homes would remain habitable during the 15 days they forecast is needed to carry out the work. The 4.5 million homes owned by Local Authorities and Housing associations are a logical starting point.
The report demonstrates the challenge facing all of us to meet the goal. It raises though many questions:
- Who will pay?
- Post Grenfall, do we want cladding from a safety perspective never mind the aesthetic effect
- With a shortage of construction workers, who could do it?