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Green Makeover Needed Every Minute to Meet Climate Targets

By Katie Anderson on December 6, 2011

A new report has highlighted the enormous task the UK faces, if the country stands any chance of meeting its carbon emissions reduction targets through a massive ‘get Britain retrofit’ scheme. 

From now until 2050, one green makeover will need to be given every minute, otherwise the country will fail to meet its targets, reveals the Centre for Low carbon Futures report, which was compiled in conjunction with the Energy Saving Trust.

Given that around 45% of emissions come from existing buildings, of which 70% will still be standing come 2050, there’s no escaping the fact that getting Britain’s buildings retrofit is of the utmost importance.

According to the report, schemes like the Renewable Heating Incentive (RHI) and the Green Deal have gone some way to encouraging people to make improvements to the energy efficiency of their properties. However, in order to achieve an 80% cut in carbon emissions, more still needs to be done – and the urgency to do more and the challenge facing the built environment should not be overlooked

“Despite the best efforts to encourage households and industry to adopt low carbon solutions through regulation and incentive schemes, they are not achieving the step changes required,” explained Jon Price, director of the Centre for Low Carbon Futures.

Mr Price explained that a lack of knowledge and understanding of energy performance, coupled with the diversity of the country’s buildings would hinder the extensive retrofit plans because one size cannot fit all, as it were.

Government schemes like the Green Deal and the RHI are designed to encourage Britain’s home owners and businesses to become more energy efficient by implementing energy saving measures, such as installing energy efficient new boilers, cavity wall insulation, double glazing and green heating technologies like heat pumps and solar water heating. The Green Deal in particular should, in theory, totally revolutionise the energy efficiency of the UK’s housing stock.