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UK government must launch retrofit revolution to save leaky homes £1000 

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A row of houses with brightly coloured front doors.
UK homes in need of retrofitting for better insulation and energy efficiency. Photo by Gonzalo Facello on Unsplash.

Independent climate think tank E3G calls for a retrofit revolution as a long-term solution to bring energy bills down in wake of Ofgem energy price cap hikes. 

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Today (26th August), Ofgem is announcing that the energy price cap will increase further. People living in inefficient homes – with an energy rating of ‘D’ or worse – will face energy bills that are £1,000 higher a year than those living in efficient homes (rated C or better). [2] 

To stay warm, the poorest 10% of households would need to spend 60% of their income on energy bills. [3] The outcome for many will be to cut back significantly on heating, risking a major increase in respiratory diseases and Excess Winter Deaths.  

Current Government support will not address the energy bill increase households face. There is an urgent need for targeted and far more generous direct support for households’ energy costs now, but the UK cannot spend its way out of high prices indefinitely. 

The only path to resilience against high gas prices is through more investment: in home energy efficiency, efficient electrification of heat, backed by cheap renewable power. The UK government needs to announce increased investment now, enable others to invest, and ensure investment delivers benefits fairly. 

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Pedro Guertler, Place-Based Transitions Programme Lead at independent climate think thanks E3G said: 

“With among the worst-insulated housing in Europe, the UK is especially vulnerable to eye-watering gas prices. Two thirds of people live in energy inefficient homes. For adequate heating, they will need to pay an ‘inefficiency penalty’ of £1,000 more a year compared to those living in better insulated homes. 

 

To avoid rampant fuel poverty, prevent an entrenched public health emergency and escape repeated emergency bailouts over the coming decade, the Government must urgently invest in a renovation revolution to make all UK homes highly energy efficient and rapidly accelerate investment in renewables to reduce our exposure to high-cost gas.” 

Available for comment 

Pedro Guertler, Programme Lead, Place-Based Transitions, E3G 

m: +44 (0) 7867314004, pedro.guertler@e3g.org  

Notes to Editors 

1 – E3G is an independent climate change think tank with a global outlook. We work on the frontier of the climate landscape, tackling the barriers and advancing the solutions to a safe climate. Our goal is to translate climate politics, economics and policies into action. About – E3G 

2 – Results have been modelled using English Housing Survey data, based on a previously predicted price cap bill of £3,582 for the ‘typical household’. Households living in homes with an energy rating of D or worse (on an A (most efficient) to G (least efficient) scale) would need to pay on average £3,900 for adequate energy services compared with £2,900 for households living in homes with an energy rating of C or better – a £1,000 ‘inefficiency penalty. 

3 – Energy costs are fairly evenly distributed across household income groups, which has a highly skewed impact on how much different income deciles would need to spend on adequate energy services.

4 – Chart, line chartDescription automatically generated 

5 – For further enquiries email press@e3g.org or phone +44 (0)7783 787 863 

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