UK CARBON DIOXIDE REDUCTION TARGETS
The UK is currently committed to cutting its carbon emissions by 12.5% from 1990 levels by 2012 under the Kyoto Protocol, a legally binding international agreement.
The Climate Change Act 2008 set mandatory emission reduction targets to be achieved by 2020, for 34 % of greenhouse gas emissions to be cut; and then a reduction of at least 80% by 2050. It also introduced five-yearly ‘carbon budgets’ to help ensure those targets are met.
The Department of Energy & Climate Change (DECC) is working with other departments to help the UK make the transition to a low carbon economy. In 2008-09, however, the UK was rated as having the world’s sixth largest Low Carbon and Environmental Goods and Services (LCEGS) sector, worth £112 billion per year, an annual increase of 4.3% on figures for 2007/08; showing the extent to which the Climate Change agenda has already affected our everyday lives.
Such figures demonstrate that MIMA members’ businesses are at the core of combating energy wastage and Global Warming, while both the association and its individual companies are closely involved in developing new products as well as strategies for reducing our dependence on inefficient energy sources still further.
RETROFIT FOR THE FUTURE
Led by the Government-funded Technology Strategy Board (TSB), Retrofit for the Future is enabling 80 consortia to address some of the UK’s hardest to heat homes; with improving the performance of the envelope being key to success.
Understanding and implementing Best Practice in refurbishment is crucial in meeting the government’s CO2 reduction target of 80% by 2050, with insulation of the external walls, roof and floors featuring in all 100 homes being tackled. The results of the projects will be shared to help show landlords and their contracting partners how older properties could be brought up to match the performance of dwelling being built now to the higher levels of the Code.
WARM HOMES, GREENER HOMES: A STRATEGY FOR HOUSEHOLD ENERGY MANAGEMENT
The strategy sets out phases to meet both the overall 2020 carbon goal, and an interim commitment to ensure that, by 2015, every household will have installed loft and cavity wall insulation where practical.
Including Pay As You Save green finance, Warm Homes aims by 2020 for up to seven million homes to have undergone eco-upgrades, including improvements such as solid wall insulation or renewable energy generating technologies.
The Government has recently demanded a greater effort from insulation companies to insulate lofts and walls in homes across the UK. Included in the Green Deal is a scheme whereby up to 14 million homes could benefit from the proposed Green Deal Finance.
Payments will be collected through energy bills and the most energy inefficient homes could save, on average, around £550 a year.
The Government will begin legislating for these proposals in the Autumn and they are expected to take effect in 2012.
The Carbon Emissions Reduction Target obliges electricity and gas suppliers to help cut carbon dioxide emissions from homes through financing physical improvements. They are, for example, providing grants for loft and wall insulation; or increasing the amount of energy generated from renewable technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and ground source heat pumps.
For the householder, a key fact to remember is that they can take up grants and offers from any energy company, regardless of whether the company concerned supplies their gas and electricity.
Most energy suppliers provide loft and cavity wall insulation free of charge to those aged over 70, or those in receipt of certain benefits.