Poorly Insulated Homes Face Higher Heating Costs, Urgent Action Needed

New research by the Energy and Climate Change Intelligence Unit (ECIU) reveals that poorly insulated homes in the UK will face significantly higher heating costs starting from April. Homes with an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) rating of F are expected to experience a 50% increase in gas bills, while even homes rated as D will face a 15% hike compared to if they were upgraded to the government’s target of band C.

Insulation plays a crucial role in reducing heating bills and improving energy efficiency. However, the ECIU has criticized the government for abandoning EPC targets for landlords, which would have required rental properties to have a minimum rating of C. This decision is expected to leave 2.8 million privately rented households colder and poorer.

Jess Ralston, an energy analyst at ECIU, emphasizes the importance of insulation in not only lowering bills but also reducing the demand for gas. Given the concerns about energy independence and the rising cost of living, improving insulation becomes essential for both economic and environmental reasons. However, government insulation schemes are failing to meet target levels, and addressing this issue does not seem to be a priority despite the potential benefits in reducing bills and enhancing energy security.

The decline in insulation rates is alarming, with installations falling to 95% lower than their peak in 2012. In 2023, only 295,000 energy efficiency measures were installed across various government programs, representing an 85% decrease compared to 2012.

To address this pressing issue, urgent action is needed from the government to ramp up the deployment of energy efficiency measures. Regardless of the political party in power, the next government must prioritize increasing insulation rates to achieve energy independence, lower bills, and improve the overall quality of housing in the UK. Failure to do so risks leaving millions of households facing higher energy costs and exacerbating the challenges of energy security and affordability.

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