Arthur takes a look at the state of the U.K. green housing commitment.
The United Kingdom will have to insulate one home every minute in order to reach its targets by 2050. Twenty-five million existing homes will not meet insulation standards that the government have committed to by mid-century. This comes from a report by the Green Housing Council, a group of leading construction firms.
The amount of houses that must be insulated is vast. This is due to the expectation that four fifths of the houses that are expected to be lived in in 2050 have already been built. This realisation highlights the problem that the United Kingdom is having regarding the pace of house-building. It would be far easier to meet green housing targets if a larger percentage of the housing stock were new-build, however they are not.
Insulating homes is an expensive and difficult process and since the collapse of the Government’s ‘Green Deal’, there has been very little help (or incentives) for homeowners that want to take the leap and insulate their home. Local councils, already stripped to the bone, simply do not have the cash to insulate existing council homes. The offshoot of this is that they are reluctant to offer incentives that will increase the cost of privately-owned houses.
It’s not all bad news
For the construction industry, this is actually good news. The Government will have to step up its game in order to try and meet, or even come close to, these targets. Therefore, there will be a lot more work going. Thousands of new jobs will have to be created, stimulating the economy but also the ‘Green Sector’. With more money coming in to the green construction sector, this writer hopes at least some can be redirected straight back in to research.
For homeowners, insulation is a big investment, due to its large cost. Although it will easily pay for itself over time, in terms of decreased energy use, there is always the worry that you will move out before it has. But, in reality, the picture is much bigger than that. The entire country has to work in order to reduce the United Kingdom’s carbon footprint. If the Government introduces new schemes in order to incentivise homeowners, it must be grasped with both hands.