Sunday, February 18, 2007


Excellent new report out last week from Jean Lambert MEP (Green MEP for London) which looks at the urgent need to increase the energy efficiency of existing London housing stock, to reduce carbon emissions. Over 37% of London's carbon emissions come from domestic energy consumption. In particular it looks at ways of improving insulation in older housing stock, eg the solid wall Victorian houses, which are common throughout London, particularly around here. The Energy Action Zones which are about to go live in Lewisham are a good start, but I'm concerned that the improvements in insulation under the Decent Homes programme will not be enough to reduce fuel poverty or carbon emissions. The energy efficiency standards required in England for houses to meet decent homes standard are not as stringent as those in Wales and Scotland, where SAP ratings are being used.

From the foreward to the report:

"Climate change is a major challenge of our time. There is growing agreement that we need to make real and rapid reductions in our greenhouse gas emissions. This means reducing our demand for energy and using what we have as efficiently as possible.

We should be making strategic decisions as to where we put our efforts to get the fastest possible reductions, while taking steps to tackle the more difficult areas.The recent Government announcement concerning zero-carbon newbuild housing is welcome, but new-build is only a small proportion of our overall housing stock.

We need to look at how we can improve our existing housing. For the UK, energy use in the domestic sector is an important source of emissions and particularly in London, where it outweighs transport. London also has a different makeup of housing stock compared to other regions and a different balance between owner-occupied and rented.

If we deal with energy-inefficient homes through extensive insulation programmes, we can also combat fuel poverty and meet a social need. Fuel poverty is predicted to increase as fuel prices rise, so action is essential. London has many households still living in poverty, despite the capital’s overall prosperity."

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