Tackling world climate change begins at home

One of the first lines of defence against climate change is energy efficient housing. But how can you make an old house fit for the future?

With over 22% of the UK’s carbon emissions coming from our homes1, the challenge is on to make Britain’s old, energy-inefficient housing more eco-friendly.

From solar panels to energy efficient boilers, new homes now have many environmentally friendly features built-in. But the UK’s older properties need a lot of upgrading before they can join in the battle against climate change.

Climate change in the UK

The Met Office reports that climate change is already happening across the UK, with record-breaking heatwaves now 30 times more likely2. Extreme weather events3 such as torrential rain are set to affect many people as time goes on. The head of the upcoming COP26, the UN Climate Change Conference, stated that the unseasonal flooding seen across Britain in recent days is a reminder of the urgent need to tackle the climate crisis.4

Improving home energy efficiency forms a major part of the global commitment to address the effects of world climate change5.  The UK Government has ambitious targets to reduce carbon emissions and make our homes kinder to the environment.

Cutting our carbon for good

Hitting our targets in the UK is a huge task. It requires the majority of the UK’s 27 million homes and 2 million non-domestic buildings to be virtually zero carbon by 2050. The plan to achieve this involves improving energy efficiency, installing smart technologies and moving to low carbon heat sources.

In a recent government report, the Climate Change Committee (CCC) said, ‘We want all homes, so far as possible, to reach an Energy Performance Certification of C or above.’ The CCC recommends improving at least two-thirds of our housing stock by as early as 2035.

Making old houses fit for the future

In a typical household, over half of the fuel bills are spent on heating and hot water7.

The Energy Saving Trust reveals that the average household generated 2,745kg of carbon dioxide (CO2) from its heating in 2017. We need to reduce this to just 138kg per household by 2050 to meet UK targets.

To reach the goal of ‘Net Zero’ set by the UK Government, carbon emissions from heating our homes will have to drop by a huge 95% over the next 30 years.

The good news is, all homes have the potential to become more energy efficient and reduce their carbon footprint.

How can households help with climate change?

Improving a home’s energy efficiency and lowering its carbon emissions can range from quick and cost-effective solutions to installing entire new heating systems.

  • Install insulation. Around a third of the heat in an uninsulated home is lost through the walls8.  Most homes in the UK have either solid walls, which can be insulated from the inside or outside, or cavity walls, which have a gap that can be filled with insulation. Installing solid-wall insulation could save as much as £350 every year on bills while cutting around 1,490kg of a home’s carbon dioxide emissions9. Simply adding Loft insulation can save up to a quarter of a home’s warmth from leaking out through the roof. It will pay for itself many times over, saving an estimated £135 every year on fuel bills along with reducing carbon emissions by 580kg10.

  • An efficient heating system with smart thermostat controls helps to reduce fuel bills as well as reduce carbon emissions.

  • Draught proofing around doors and windows helps to keep the heat in.

  • Switching to a ‘green energy’ provider supports low carbon energy generation.

  • Renewable energy such as solar power offers a cleaner, low-carbon alternative for heating and hot water.

  • Low carbon heating systems such as heat pumps or biomass are more sustainable and better for the environment.

  • Insulating hot water pipes and the hot water cylinder saves heat and energy.

  • Using low-energy lightbulbs cuts down electricity use.

Government grant schemes could cover the cost of some home energy efficiency improvements to help the UK achieve its zero carbon target.

Make your home more eco-friendly

InstaGroup is committed to sustainable and environmentally-friendly living, keeping homes warmer while tackling climate change.

We’re approved to access government-backed ECO grants and Local Authority grants. Please get in touch to find out if funding for insulation is available in your area.

< Back to News Stories