Home energy efficiency ‘must be an infrastructure priority’
The government has been urged to step up its focus on making homes more energy efficient.
According to Sarah Kostense-Winterton, executive director of MIMA, the trade body representing Mineral Wool Insulation Manufacturers, homes in the UK are among the coldest and leakiest in western Europe.
As a result, she believes the energy efficiency of residential accommodation needs to be considered an “infrastructure priority”, with a stable and long-term policy framework put in place to help people insulate and improve their properties.
“At the moment, stop-start policy and a lack of focus upon how to make our energy system the best it can be have undermined individuals interested in improving their own homes, and businesses looking to innovate and invest,” she commented.
Ms Kostense-Winterton cited figures from Frontier Economics showing that a programme to improve the energy efficiency of Britain’s homes would generate nearly £9 billion of economic beneifts.
This, she stated, would be comparable to the amounts generated by other major infrastructure projects, such as road upgrades, Crossrail and the proposed high-speed rail network.
Ms Kostense-Winterton flagged up insulation as a particularly good energy efficiency measure, as it is “always on” and helps to “keep homes cosy” at all times.
“Even if you switch supplier, you will pay too much if your homes is under-insulated,” she said.
The government was also urged to engage with people on this issue as soon as the process of buying or selling a home begins, as this “free policy initiative” would reap strong rewards alongside wider infrastructure projects.
Ms Kostense-Winterton said helping customers to consider these options when they are purchasing a property would give them an opportunity to cut their living costs straight away.