Warm homes: delivering energy efficiency improvements in the UK

Document type
Briefing
Author(s)
Caldecott, Ben; Sweetman, Thomas
Publisher
Policy Exchange
Date of publication
12 January 2009
Subject(s)
Housing and Homelessness, Poverty Alleviation Welfare Benefits and Financial Inclusion
Collection
Social welfare
Material type
Reports

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Basic energy efficiency measures significantly reduce greenhouse gas emissions and reduce energy bills for households.  This research note outlines current schemes intended to improve energy efficiency and presents the case for a new approach.  Even with the urgency of climate change and the obvious financial benefits, delivering energy efficiency improvements in the UK’s existing housing stock has been slow. This is despite the fact that each year around £1.25 billion is spent on a variety of Government schemes and grants intended to improve it. The barriers that prevent households installing energy efficiency measures are well known. These relate to a lack of access to capital, pay back periods that are often too long, a poor understanding of the benefits involved and also the fact that households have to be proactive to improve their energy efficiency.  Cumbersome application procedures make it harder for people to overcome inertia, whilst having to pay a large part of upfront costs prevents the poorest from benefiting.  Installing energy efficiency measures is still too difficult for millions of people. If the recommendations in this Research Note are implemented, every home in the country could be fitted out with loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, double glazing, hot-water tank insulation and draught proofing by 2014.

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