All the stats you need to know about the challenges and problems faced by industry and government when facing refubishing already-built homes.

  • Here is the what where who and how the UK can face up to its vast swathes of inefficient properties. The UK Green Building Council provide key facts on the housing stock itself, policies,nergy and home improvements:

Housing Stock

  • Due to increasing population and falling household size, by 2050 there could be 23 per cent more households
  • Social housing accounts for approximately 20% of the UK housing stock and performs better than average in terms of energy efficiency
  • Private landlords own about 12% of the UK housing stock. There are approximately 13,000 private landlords in England, the majority only owning a couple of properties
  • Since 1997, carbon emissions from UK homes have risen by more than 5 per cent. The Government’s projection for the residential sector represents an 11-18 per cent carbon reduction by 2020 from 1990 levels
  • 43% of homes in England have at least one feature associated with ‘hard to treat’ housing stock – so cannot be fitted with all standard energy efficiency measures
  • WWF estimated costs of £2.6 - £3.5bn per year to reduce CO2 by 80% by 2050

Government Policy

Loft insulation also offers cost effective carbon savings. Approximately 1 million UK lofts are uninsulated and 11 million are partially insulated

  • The draft Renewable Energy Strategy stated that £45/tonne of CO2 was now the level of ‘cost-effective’ energy efficiency measure
  • Around 60 local authorities now offer a council tax rebate of £50 to £100 for householders installing energy efficiency measures, usually insulation
  • CERT, the Carbon Emissions Reduction Target, is government’s main policy for reducing household emissions and runs from 2008 until 2011. Funding of this scheme is estimated at circa £2.76 billion over three years, paid for through a levy on household energy bills
  • 40% of the energy savings through CERT are to be derived from homes occupied by low-income and elderly customers
  • The Landlords Energy Saving Allowance is a tax allowance of up to £1,500 per property claimable against income or corporation tax bills where insulation measures have been installed in private rented accommodation
  • The UK government’s 2007 budget presented the aim that: “by the end of the next decade, all householders will have been offered help to introduce energy efficiency measures with the aim that, where practicably possible, all homes will have achieved their cost-effective energy efficiency potential”

Home Improvements

  • Currently £24bn a year is spent on repair and maintenance of homes
  • Cavity wall insulation is one of the most cost and carbon effective of measures, yet 8.5 million cavities remain unfilled

  • Under the current VAT regime, construction of new build property attracts a zero VAT rate, whereas refurbishment, repair and retrofit of existing homes are charged at 17.5%
  • There is a reduced rate of 5% VAT imposed on energy savings materials that are professionally supplied and installed into residential accommodation. The items that are considered to be energy saving materials are: central heating and hot water system controls, draught stripping, insulation, solar panels, wind turbines, water turbines, ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, micro combined heat and power units and wood-fuelled boilers
  • Loft insulation also offers cost effective carbon savings. Approximately 1 million UK lofts are uninsulated and 11 million are partially insulated
  • 1/3 of properties in the UK have solid walls; EEC2 led to the installation of solid wall insulation in just 42,000 homes. The 7m or so solid walled homes present significant insulation challenges at higher cost than cavity fill

Energy Use

  • 89% of people feel ‘ripped off’ by their energy company
  • The Government already has a legal obligation to ensure that people are not living in fuel poverty by 2016. There were an estimated 1.8 million households in fuel poverty in England in 2001, 1.2m in 2003, 2.4m in 2006. The 2008 price increases are expected to take the total to over 3m
  • Research commissioned by the EEPH in May of this year found that 85% of private tenants surveyed were concerned about increased in domestic energy prices and 88% said the introduction of Energy Performance Certificates (EPCs) for all marketed rented property from October 2008 would be useful if they were looking for somewhere to rent