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NEF responds to the UK Energy Security Strategy

NEF responds to the UK Energy Security Strategy

The National Energy Foundation welcomes the release of the much anticipated long-term strategy. Whilst it contains some notable plans, we are disappointed that the latest Government strategy overlooks what could be done in the short term to help millions of households facing their very own energy security and cost of living crisis. We understand the strategy has recently been rebranded as focused on energy ‘supply’, so we hope further announcements will soon follow.

Our hope is these further announcements would include investment in making our existing 29M dwellings more sustainable – notably absent this time. By making our homes more energy-efficient and cutting out energy waste, the UK would significantly reduce demand for its energy needs, something which would alleviate security concerns. Beyond this, investment in retrofitting energy efficiency measures saves families money from day one, whereas the Government’s strategy will give a very little dividend to consumers during the next decade.

It isn’t about simply lagging lofts and installing double glazing; we urgently need advanced whole house retrofits to make all of our homes fit for the future. The benefits of retrofit are abundant, resulting in improved occupant health and comfort; lower running costs and more disposable income; and tackling climate change through reduced emissions and pollution.

We, therefore, call on the Government to urgently show commitment to a National Retrofit Strategy and implementation plan so that the dire energy security anxiety every household now faces is alleviated without delay. It should include details on how low-income families who desperately need this help the most, can access long-term support.

NEF’s own SuperHomes rating scheme provides a benchmark of retrofit achievement. With 1 to 5 levels (5 star being a verified zero carbon home) there is a level that every homeowner can aspire to achieve over time, regardless of the specific nature of their home. To reach net-zero carbon one million ‘SuperHome level’ refurbishments are required each year, to date we are tinkering at the very edges of what is needed. Our rating scheme could be adopted as the centerpiece of a UK-wide retrofit strategy providing a common understanding amongst consumers of the challenging task ahead.

NEF estimates in the run-up to 2050, that 16M UK homes could be retrofitted to SuperHomes level 3, 4 and 5 (each home producing 0.5 t/CO2 pa or less), while the remaining 13M ‘harder to tackle’ homes could be retrofitted to SuperHomes level 1 and 2 which would ultimately see all homes emitting less than one tonne of regulated greenhouse gas emissions per annum from 2030.

However, NEF holds serious concerns over the supply chain capacity to deliver the UK’s retrofit needs. We call for an urgent mass scale retrofit training programme within technical colleagues and a mass apprenticeship programme.

Source: yougen.co.uk

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