Greening the nation’s housing stock will be the key challenge, with over 70 per cent of housing that will exist in 2050 already built. At Willmott Dixon, we are at the forefront of tackling this and delivering cost-effective ways of making housing more energy efficient, such as our demonstration retrofit home in Barnsley.
We helped to halve heating bills for a family (above) living in a 1930s-built family home in Barnsley.
Our team carried out a whole house retrofit package to turn the semi-detached house from an E rating in environmental impact and energy efficiency to an A rating. By adding solar hot water, new gas boiler, cavity wall insulation, internal insulation and double glazing, we cut £477 from their current annual gas bill, a saving of nearly 45 per cent. This was not as expensive as you would think, and for a series of projects, work could be paid for on a 'pay as you save' basis over 5-7 years.
The government has pledged to cut greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Its new green homes strategy aims to help more than seven million households in the next decade.
Greening our housing stock will be essential if we are to hit these ambitious targets, with more than a quarter of the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions coming from housing. It will also improve lives by taking millions out of fuel poverty, where over ten per cent of household income goes on gas and electricity bills.
The scale of the challenge is huge. Meeting carbon reduction targets will mean:
• Greening more than half a million homes a year
• Insulating 10 million lofts and 10 million walls over the next decade alone
• Offering seven million eco-upgrades by 2020
But the benefits will be huge too. By making retrofitting a priority we will:
• Slash emissions from housing, currently running at 41 million tonnes a year
• Tackle fuel poverty which hits up to five million households
• Make our homes healthier places to live
• Boost resident satisfaction levels
• Improve our existing homes so they are easier and less expensive to maintain
• Create thousands of new jobs.