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Energy Trust calls for refurb roadmap

A staggering 13,400 homes will have to be refurbished every single week if the Government is to reach its refurbishment target, according to the Energy Saving Trust.

The Government has set a target of 7 million whole-house makeovers by 2020, which would consist of upgrading the basic insulation of a home and then adding other measures such as water efficiency measures, advanced insulation or microgeneration.

The Trust estimates that 6m homes still need cavity wall insulation and half of all UK houses need more loft insulation.

These measures would save nearly 7m tonnes of carbon dioxide a year, the organisation said.
The statistics have been released as the Energy Saving Trust prepares to launch its new Sustainable Refurbishment guide, which aims to assist the housing industry in taking a whole-house approach to upgrading the energy performance of existing homes.

The guide, it says, will show how to achieve an ambitious 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions from a range of different homes through applying home improvements that go well beyond those required in current building regulations.

The Trust’s chief executive Philip Sellwood commented: “With the Government’s 2016 zero-carbon homes policy we have a clear trajectory to achieving very low-carbon new homes in England.

“We need a similar roadmap towards a low-carbon existing housing stock – laying out a set of standards we expect our homes to reach in 2015, 2020, 2030 and 2050.

“Our refurbishment guidance is an important contribution to developing that roadmap – showing how different types of homes can reach the 80 per cent carbon reduction target.

“An existing homes roadmap will give an incentive for homeowners to invest in home improvements and a clear signal to builders and installers to train staff to be able to deliver the energy and carbon saving measures.”

Meanwhile, energy minister Lord Hunt has welcomed the level of public engagement around the
consultation on National Policy Statements on Energy. The consultation, which closed last week, gave the public the opportunity to influence and comment on the draft NPSs, and statistics showed that almost 20,000 people visited the consultation website to find out more about what is being proposed, with 1,000 of those responding online.

Lord Hunt said: “We are undertaking fundamental reform of the planning system which will
result in a more efficient, transparent and accessible process. National Policy Statements are a vital part of these reforms, setting out the national need for new energy infrastructure.

“Listening to people’s views is vital to getting this process right. I’m pleased that so many people and organisations have given their views on how future decisions on where we locate power plants will be made.”

Following the end of the consultation on the NPSs, proposals will continue to undergo
parliamentary scrutiny. The Government intends to respond to issues raised both in the consultation and through parliamentary scrutiny later this year.