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Inquiry launched into energy efficiency of existing homes

The Environment Audit Committee launched a new inquiry yesterday (May 18) into the energy efficiency of existing homes.

Around 29 million homes are considered to have the potential to improve their energy efficiency according to figures published by the committee.

Making homes more energy efficient would improve household incomes, reduce fuel poverty and cut carbon emissions across the UK.

The UK Government has committed to reaching net zero carbon by 2050, but homes account for just under 30% of energy use and make up around 20% of greenhouse gas emissions.

The new inquiry will look at the Government’s pledge of £9.2bn for energy improvements in homes, schools and hospitals and why funding has not been allocated to improve the efficiency of existing homes.

Over 10 million owner occupied households currently fall below the Performance Certificate Band C, and they have the most potential for the largest carbon savings.

According to the Environmental Audit Committee, the act of decarbonising existing homes would offer the Government an opportunity to grow a domestic supply chain and skills base in addition to working towards carbon neutrality.

Fuel poverty affects around 2.53 million households in England, something the Committee argues is risking the health of vulnerable people and adding strain to the NHS during winter months.



Environmental Audit Committee Chairman, Philip Dunne MP, said:

“Homes with poor energy standards should have no place in 21st Century Britain. But there are still too many homes across the country that fail to meet the Government’s own target of EPC rating C – resulting in higher bills and contributing to greenhouse gas emissions in the UK.

“It is unfortunate that despite its promises, the Government has yet to act in bringing forward policies that could transform the energy efficiency of homes. The contribution this could make to improving emissions reduction is very significant, but the scale of the challenge is vast. The Government should act quickly to address this – doing so could save lives, provide a major boost to economic recovery across the country, and put the UK in a stronger position to meet net-zero carbon emissions by 2050.”


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