Towards zero emission homes by 2050 in the U.K.


Ed Miliband, U.K.
Secretary of State
for Energy and
Climate Change
London, U.K. — (METERING.COM) — February 17, 2009 – Increasing the scope and ambition of energy saving measures, as well as decarbonizing the generation and supply of heat, is central to the U.K. government’s strategy for emissions from existing buildings to be approaching zero by 2050.

In a series of new consultation papers the government sets out its proposed strategy to reduce the U.K.’s total emissions by 80 percent by 2050. Key objectives are to help people reduce energy bills by using less energy, reduce the U.K.’s emissions in line with its carbon budgets and its 2050 emission reduction target, maintain secure and diverse energy supplies, and take advantage of the economic opportunities presented by the shift to a low carbon economy.

To achieve this, the policies proposed aim to reduce annual emissions by up to 44 million tonnes of CO2 in 2020 – the equivalent of a 30 percent reduction in emissions from households compared to 2006.

It is proposed that by 2030 all homes will have received a “whole house” package including all cost effective energy saving measures, plus renewable heat and electricity measures as appropriate. All lofts and cavity walls should be insulated where practical by 2015. Moreover comprehensive information and advice should be made available to help people make changes to save energy and save money – including widespread availability of home energy advice by accredited advisers.

As well as a whole-house approach to energy efficiency, modern district heating offers the potential to cut energy bills and reduce CO2 emissions, and the government says it wants to help district heating networks to develop in those communities where it makes sense. Moreover, generating heat and electricity together is more efficient than generating them separately, and the surplus, or waste, heat from power generation or industry also can be put to good use.

“We need not just a small improvement in the energy efficiency of each home and business in Britain, but a radical shift in our ambition,” says secretary of state for energy and climate change, Ed Miliband. “Why? To save money for families. We need a radical shift to help to ensure our energy security. Above all, we need a radical shift to play our part in tackling climate change.”

Alongside the heat and energy saving strategy is a strategy for implementing the Community Energy Saving Program (CESP) – a new £350 million program established as part of the Home Energy Saving Program to target particularly low income households to improve energy efficiency standards, and permanently reduce fuel bills. In the CESP consultation the government proposes that the program should be delivered through the development of community-based partnerships involving local authorities along with suppliers and generators.

Additionally proposed amendments to the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target (CERT) 2008-11 seek to increase the overall CERT by 20 percent, provide new incentives to encourage both professionally installed and DIY loft insulation, encourage energy suppliers to promote real time display devices, increase the proportion of the CERT that can be met through innovation activity, and introduce new reporting requirements.

The consultations run through early May.