Blog > Energy efficiency isn’t just about insulation


Energy efficiency isn’t just about insulation

Friday 18th May 2012

Today the Committee on Climate Change has called for local authorities to be obliged to institute plans to reduce carbon emissions backed by national funding. The committee argues that environmental plans were among the first cuts to be made by local authorities in the face of the Government’s austerity measures, meaning local government is not having the impact it could potentially have on reducing the UK’s emissions.

The committee’s recommendations come hot on the heels of significant concerns being raised about the Government’s Green Deal. There are fears that the scheme will fail to reach the targeted 14 million UK homes and fall short of it’s goal of pulling more people out of fuel poverty.

Although DECC has flatly denied that the Green Deal is under review, the concerns do appear to be well founded with the Guardian reporting that: “the government's own impact assessment shows loft insulations and cavity wall insulations – the most cost-effective measures by far – are set to fall by 93% and 67% respectively under current plans”.

While it would be a huge problem were the Green Deal to collapse, the latest discussions serve as a timely reminder that it is all too easy to fall in to the trap of equating energy efficiency solely with loft and cavity insulation.

These are undoubtedly important measures, however energy efficiency needs to be seen from a much broader perspective. This involves a range of other technologies, products and services such as energy management systems and ‘smart’ appliances allied to other Government schemes like the smart meter rollout.

These products and services are coming from a range of energy suppliers and technology vendors and we are in the early stages of these products becoming mainstream. Technology innovation still has big part to play in improving the energy efficiency of housing stock, reducing people’s bills and lowering emissions.

So while we should all hope that the Green Deal can achieve its aims, we should remember that it is part of the mix, not the one and only scheme that will enhance energy efficiency.


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