ECIU calls for budget measures to boost home insulation and cut gas imports

Insulating the UK’s least energy efficient homes before 2030 could cut gas use by 384TWh for the following five years – three times the amount of gas (118TWh) that could be produced from newly approved North Sea fields over the same period, new analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit finds.

The analysis finds that the total amount paid for gas in the average home with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) in band D would save £1,944 by the start of 2030 in a central scenario, if upgraded to EPC band C. This rises to £2,469 saved in total by the start of 2030 if gas prices stay high for the rest of the decade. For homes with a poorer EPC rating – band F – total savings could reach £4,486 in a central scenario and £5,697 if gas prices stay high.

Jess Ralston, Senior Analyst at ECIU, said: “Earlier this year the Treasury, under the now Prime Minister’s direction, blocked an increase in funding for insulating homes. Making more efficient use and wasting less energy in the past has driven a quarter of the UK’s growth. It also leaves homes less vulnerable to international gas price shocks, something that new North Sea gas fields won’t.

“With the autumn statement looming, there are concerns that other efficiency funds could be raided leaving hospitals and schools facing higher electricity bills and the UK as a whole no better off. It remains to be seen if the government will kick the can down the road, rob Peter to pay Paul or genuinely increase investment.”

In 2022, it is expected that just 150,000 homes will benefit from energy efficiency installations. At that rate, just 1.2million homes in the UK will have had insulation installed by the end of 2030, far below what is needed to reach the Government’s target of bringing the vast majority of homes up to EPC C by 2035.

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