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.
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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