Making Homes Energy Efficient Could Boost the Economy and Create Jobs

Making homes more sustainable isn’t just good for the environment. Energy efficiency measures offer dozens of great benefits to people, the economy, and society as a whole.

Energy efficient homes are cheaper

Energy-efficient homes with well-insulated walls and windows stay warm and use less heating than properties with poor insulation. This reduces household carbon emissions and slashes monthly energy bills.

Having insulation installed in your home could trim your energy bills by around £250 per year, according to Renewable Energy Hub. Insulating your home is a great investment that will reduce environmental pollution and lead to long-term cost savings for your family.

A recent report found that over half a million households have fallen behind on their energy bills, with main homeowners struggling to make ends meet during the covid-19 lockdown. Improving the energy efficiency of homes will make them warmer and more affordable to run. This will offer massive support to people struggling to pay energy bills or experiencing fuel poverty. This money will go back into the economy and help drive economic growth.

Energy efficiency improves the economy

It is estimated that energy efficiency housing projects could increase gross domestic profit (GDP) by nearly £1.3 billion (0.07%) a year, and create 22,545 new full-time jobs across the UK economy.

At the peak of housing retrofits, energy efficiency programmes could require up to 137,000 skilled workers to meet demand. This would give the construction industry a much-needed boost following the covid-19 pandemic and lockdown. Implementing energy efficiency projects will help local businesses, tradesmen and small businesses get back into work.

The environmental benefits of green homes

Carbon Brief state that UK homes account for approximately 15% of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions through their use of oil and gas for heating and hot water. This shows just a 9% reduction since 1990 levels. 

The UK government has pledged to achieve net-zero by 2050 and urgent action is required taken to tackle the UK’s housing emissions. Analysis shows that these emissions must be lowered to 24% below their level in 1990, in order to help the UK meet its environmental goals.

Making homes more energy-efficient is a simple way to cut household emissions and create a greener, less-polluting society.

How UK homes are becoming greener

EPC certificates

Since 2007, it has been a legal requirement for every property to have an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) before being sold.

An EPC assesses the energy efficiency of a property and gives it a rating of A-G. The most energy-efficiency homes are put in band A and the least energy-efficient buildings are given a rating of G. The assessment must be carried out by a fully-trained energy assessor who will evaluate the property’s heating systems, energy features, and more.

An energy performance check is one of the most effective ways to make homes more energy-efficient. The examiner will identify areas for improvement and provide the homeowner or landlord with recommendations to improve energy efficiency and save money.

Green housing schemes

As part of the UK net-zero strategy, the government has pledged to deliver at least £1.5 billion of funding to support net-zero innovation projects, including energy efficiency housing schemes. The government says that it is committed to improving energy efficiency for low-income households, social housing, and public buildings in the next two years.

One example of a green housing scheme is the Green House Grant voucher. Homeowners and residential landlords are awarded up to s £10,000 to cover the cost of installing energy-efficient improvements to their properties.

Further incentives for homeowners and landlords worth £1.2 billion, such as stamp duty rebates for efficient homes and cheap loans for green renovations, could encourage billions more in private investment.

Summary

Making homes more sustainable benefits homeowners, the planet, and society as a whole. Energy efficiency projects will create thousands of new jobs for people in the construction industry who were hit particularly hard by the pandemic.

Completing energy-saving renovations can also save homeowners hundreds of pounds a year, helping to tackle the issue of fuel poverty. These savings go straight into the consumer’s pocket, which will help drive economic growth in the UK. 

The UK government should continue investing in green housing schemes if they want to reduce housing emissions and stay on track to meet their climate change targets.

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