Poorly Insulated UK Homes Lead to Higher Winter Heating Bills
The UK has some of the oldest and least energy efficient housing stock in Europe, making people poorer and colder than those on the continent. As the winter season finally draws in, the issue of energy efficiency and fuel poverty is again high on the agenda.
While the energy prices rises seem to have peaked and are now falling, customers will still be paying hundreds of pounds more to heat their homes this year compared to the winter of 2021/22.
The rising cost of basic essential items, such as food and utility bills, has led almost half of UK adults choosing to use less fuel in their homes, according to the ONS.
All Heating Systems Perform Better in Energy Efficient Homes
It doesn’t matter what heating system you have – gas central heating, oil boiler, direct electric or air source heat pumps – they all use less energy and cost less to run in a well-insulated and draught proofed home.
Insulating and draught-proofing the UK’s most inefficient homes will help consumers to stay warm for less; and it is also an essential step towards meeting carbon reduction targets.
The UK's Home Energy Efficiency Gap Compared to Europe
A report published by Imperial College London this year highlights the lack of insulation in British homes. The report argued that the UK needs to take urgent steps to improve the energy efficiency of its housing stock, stating that:
- UK homes lost heat three times as fast as other European homes.
- Heating systems are having to work harder and use more fuel than comparable countries, such as Germany.
- The UK government is falling behind other countries in housing improvements that increase affordability.
- Action is needed to improve both retrofit processes and building standards.
Government Support to Improve UK Home Energy Efficiency
Funding under the Great British Insulation Scheme (formerly ECO+) will help around 300,000 households make energy efficiency improvements from now until March 2026, helping consumers to achieve an estimated yearly saving of £300 - £400 on energy costs.
The Future Homes Standard is due to come into force in 2025, requiring all new build homes to be built to low carbon standards, including measures like high quality insulation and building materials, triple glazing and heat pumps. Installers will need to be up to speed with the latest energy efficiency requirements and updates to Part L of the Building Regulations.
However, regulations to this effect have been on the table for a long time. It’s estimated that 1.5million homes have been built since 2015, when energy efficiency updates were first proposed, which will now require retrofitting to meet carbon reduction targets.
How can you improve energy efficiency in buildings?
The best way to improve energy efficiency in buildings is to prevent heat loss – through doors, windows and post boxes, through external walls, through floors and roofs. Measures could range from cheaply blocking up draughts, to installing loft insulation or replacing single-glazed windows.
We are offering discounted training for tradespeople who want to take advantage of the domestic retrofit market, including:
- Retrofit assessment training courses
- Insulation training courses
- Draughtproofing training courses.
Are you interested in upskilling at a discounted cost? Register your interest here.