Adair Turner, Chairman of the UK Government’s Climate Change Commission, announced on Wednesday the recent fall in carbon emissions must not be seen as a sign that everything is on course, as the economic recession is thought to be chiefly responsible.
Moreover, Adair Turner suggested in order to meet the UK Government’s plans to reduce carbon emissions by 34% (from 1990 levels) by 2020, homes across Britain must be given a total eco-friendly makeover. However, according to Lord Turner, investment in appropriate environmentally friendly measures at home are likely to cost up to £15,000.
Exactly what constitutes an environmentally friendly home makeover will vary between properties. Indeed, new build houses are subject to clear regulations governing energy efficiency and the so-called ‘green houses’ are designed with zero carbon emissions in mind, so these properties will require only minimal changes if any. In contrast, housing more than a decade old will often comprise elements that are anything but environmentally friendly, such as archaic central heating and single glazed sash windows. Thus, Adair Turner has warned homeowners must brace for significant change over the coming years.
Specifically, Lord Turner was quoted by the Guardian newspaper as suggesting that after “home insulation and more efficient boilers”, homeowners ought to consider “more intrusive things – double glazing , cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation”. Lord Turner then added that people must adopt a “whole house approach” but that it “may be expensive – between £10,000 and £15,000”. Whilst a bill of £15,000 to makeover the home might seem exceptionally high for most people, the Climate Change Commission is anticipating that a large proportion of these costs will be subsidised by the Government. However, the Commission also believes that the UK Government will fund any such scheme through various indirect mechanisms, such as those that will stimulate higher domestic electricity bills.