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Upgrading Existing Housing Makes Economic & Environmental Sense

A new report has shown that energy efficiency retrofit programmes can generate significant economic growth whilst tackling one of the UK’s biggest sources of carbon emissions

The ‘Jobs, Growth and Warmer Homes’ report comissioned by Consumer Focus explores the benefits that investment in a programme to retrofit energy-saving measures in existing homes could bring to the UK.

The UK housing stock currently accounts for 27% of the nation’s carbon emissions, and over 6 million households are now considered to be in ‘fuel poverty’ as a combination of stagnant incomes, higher energy prices and Britain’s legacy of old, leaky homes means some people can no longer afford to keep their homes warm.

Incomes for those in fuel poverty show little sign of changing and it is unlikely that fuel prices will fall, therefore the best (or only?) solution is to alter the housing stock to enable better, more efficient use of energy.

The report challenges the assumption that as a nation we cannot afford to tackle fuel poverty, and sets out a compelling argument for investing revenues from carbon taxes into retrofit programmes. According to the report, a “triple win” of warmer homes, greater energy efficiency and economic growth is possible.

Mike O’Connor, Chief Executive of Consumer Focus writes that investment into such a programme would create 71,000 jobs by 2015 whilst boosting gross domestic product (GDP) by 0.20 per cent.

Mr O’Connor continues, “Over the next 15 years £63 billion will be added to consumer energy bills through the carbon floor price and EU Emissions Trading System (ETS). That is an average of £4 billion a year not available for consumers to spend keeping warm, or for companies to invest in cleaner generation and smart grids. If we were to direct this £4 billion toward a major programme to improve the energy efficiency of our homes we could make homes warmer, more affordable to heat and take a major step toward our legally binding carbon reduction targets.”

Recognising this need for ways of making existing buildings more fuel efficient, propertECO suggest using a unique, cost-effective treatment that can be applied to all types, sizes & ages of buildings. WeatherTek is an inexpensive yet effective way of improving the thermal efficiency of existing buildings by ensuring that the walls are kept dry. The treatment does not alter the appearance of the building and one application will last in excess of 20 years.