Following the release last week of the "Heat Call for Evidence" document issued by the Office of Climate Change (OCC), The Renewable Energy Centre.co.uk issued a statement calling for the government to take a proactive stance to reduce heating demands throughout the UK.
Issued by the Right Honourable John Hutton MP, Secretary of State for Business Enterprise and Regulatory Reform (BERR), the report said that currently 49% of the UK's total energy demands are for heating. Domestic heating in particular was cited as one of the main areas where demand was high with 69% of heat produced in homes being for space and the remainder for cooking and hot water. As a result household demand for heat is now approaching 500 Terawatts per year.
The Renewable Energy Centre stated that these figures could easily be reduced by introducing simple energy saving measures in the home. Loft and cavity wall insulation were referenced as solutions which could not only save the house owner over £100 per year in bills but serve to reduce the energy consumption needed. The Energy Saving Trust has estimated that from 26 million homes in the UK 9 million do not have adequate cavity wall insulation and a staggering 11 million homes do not have sufficient loft insulation.
The Renewable Energy Centre commented that these solutions are two of the easiest and most cost effective to install in domestic homes and that the government should either legislate or create a task force to ensure every home in the UK is catered for. This could result in a reduction of £380million* to the national energy bill every year, reduce the carbon footprint and help meet the fuel poverty targets of 2016.
There are currently grants available and local government schemes to encourage people to take steps to install loft or cavity wall insulation however The Renewable Energy Centre stated this does not go far enough.
Richard Simmons Managing Director at The Renewable Energy Centre said "It is clear that changing people's hearts and minds is not going to work as the issue of loft insulation has been going on for over 20 years despite changes in building regulations. The government needs to take decisive action either through legislation or tax incentives to make a difference. Cavity wall and loft insulation can be fitted and installed quickly and easily and make a tangible difference in reducing the heating requirements of a house. There is no reason why every home in the UK could have adequate loft or cavity wall insulation within 2 or 3 years. Our website has a section for both of these solutions with suppliers across the country, ready to do this work today and Local Authorities should be made responsible for delivering these solutions within a fixed timescale."
The Renewable Energy Centre reiterated its position that although the large scale and costly measures being undertaken to produce renewable energy are commendable, action also must be taken in the domestic arena if the UK are to meet its targets and have a successful impact on climate change.
*Source: Energy Saving Trust
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