UK homes need insulation law

Sarah Davidson

June 5, 2015

In the report entitled Heat Energy: the Nation’s Forgotten Crisis, The Institution of Mechanical Engineers put the number of UK homes in ‘fuel poverty’ at 6.5 million. It said such homes are longer fit for purpose to meet the country’s energy security challenges, social needs and decarbonisation aspirations.

The organisation called for government to incentivise homeowners to install insulation measures by cutting buyer’s Stamp Duty costs, while it said taxpayers should fund a national scheme to do the necessary work if homeowners cannot afford to spend on insulation.

Dr Tim Fox, lead author of the report and fellow of the Institution of Mechanical Engineers, said: “The UK’s housing stock is some of the most poorly insulated in the developed world, largely because of the age of much of the countries domestic dwellings and the failure of successive governments to take the meaningful action required on energy efficiency measures.

“Poorly insulated homes cost the NHS an estimated £1.36bn every year, with one estimate placing 6.5 million UK homes in fuel poverty.

“In addition, the amount of money and fuel that is wasted on heating poorly insulated homes is appalling, and the UK is facing a future of depleting UK gas reserves. It is clear that it is time for urgent action to improve energy efficiency in UK homes.”

The report said legislation should declare UK building stock ‘national infrastructure’ and there should be a mandatory competence registration for people installing energy reduction measures.

Fox added: “Government should also recognise the importance of the installer community in achieving its energy security and decarbonisation goals for heat provision and introduce ‘free’ training alongside a new mandatory competence registration for installers of energy efficiency and sustainable supply systems.

“It also needs to ensure that heat infrastructure, in individual buildings through to large-scale District Heating networks, is co-ordinated and strategically managed.”

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