Focus has shifted to existing building stock in the government’s campaign for zero carbon buildings

The Department of Energy and Climate Change (DECC) is now consulting on its Heat and Energy Saving Strategy document, launched last month by energy secretary Ed Miliband. One of the proposals is for 7 million homes to receive a heat and energy “refurbishment” in a bid to cut household carbon emissions by a third by 2020.

UK households would receive help to reduce their fuel bills and access low-carbon heat and power as part of the government’s target of cutting total emissions by 80% by 2050.

According to the proposals, all homes will have access to whole house improvements by 2030, cavity wall and loft insulation will be available for all suitable properties by 2015 and steps will be taken to encourage combined heat and power and improved use of surplus heat through carbon pricing mechanisms.

Miliband said: “Wasted energy is costing families on average £300 a year, and more than a quarter of all our emissions are from our homes.

“Energy efficiency and low-carbon energy are the fairest routes to curbing emissions, saving money for families, improving our energy security and insulating us from volatile fossil fuel prices.

“Every home must be able to access the help and technology it needs, whether it be the installation of a ground or air source heat pump, solar-heating, solid wall insulation, or access to a district heating scheme.”

The consultation process runs until 8 May.