Government insulation

A new report claims that a nationwide plan is required to install insulation in 25m homes by 2050.

In a report to parliament, the Green Building Council (GBC) warned that 25m British homes will not meet insulation standards by 2050. This is largely due to the UK’s commitment to cut 80% of its carbon emissions by mid-century. Unfortunately, one third of this amount is currently generated by heating uninsulated homes.

The GBC report estimates that four fifths of the homes that will be occupied in 2050 have already been built, meaning that a nationwide refurbishment strategy would be required in order to meet the necessary standards. 

According to the GBC, work would have to be done on 25m homes - a rate of around 1.4 homes per minute!

When heating a home, a majority of that heat is lost through the roof. Standard loft insulation is one of the best ways to reduce this, allowing properties to retain more of their warmth and residents to save on their energy bills. Insulation is one of the most surefire ways to make your home more energy efficient.

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However, critics have pointed out that local authorities lack the funds to insulate council homes en masse, while private homeowners and landlords are reluctant to invest in installing insulation, a process which can not only be disruptive but may take years to pay off. This is despite the long term savings they can make to their energy bills.

Previously, the government’s ‘Green Deal’ scheme helped finance energy-saving home improvements. However, this deal was eventually scrapped and has yet to be replaced. The treasury has also shown a reluctance to invest public funds in a scheme which would directly increase the value of privately owned properties. 

However, the GPC also pointed out that a scheme would also create thousands of jobs in the construction industry. Many homeowners are already proactive in trying to save money by improving their home's energy efficiency, whether with cavity wall insulation or other options such as double glazed windows. Even homes that are decades of years old can be refurbished with solid wall insulation.

"People will have warmer homes and lower bills; they will live longer, happier lives; we will be able to address climate change and carbon emissions,” Julie Hirigoyen, Head of the GBC, told BBC News.

"We will also be creating many thousands of jobs and exporting our best skills in innovation.

"Driving up demand for retro-fitting homes is essential for any policy to be a success - the Green Deal told us just offering financial incentives isn't necessarily the only solution. We need to make it all easy, attractive and affordable.

"The good thing is that the business community is really starting to recognise the opportunity."