A major new report published by the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) industry group, which represents a host of energy efficiency and microgeneration technology providers, reveals that the UK could save £12.1bn a year by shifting the focus of its energy policy towards delivering greener buildings.
The report uses the government's own energy calculator to show how a greater focus on building insulation and onsite energy generation would result in lower economic costs than the current strategy, which proposes significant investment in new generating capacity from large-scale power projects, such as nuclear and offshore wind developments. Specifically, the manifesto calculates that a greater focus on improving the UK's building stock would deliver net savings to the economy averaging £12.1bn a year from now until 2050, equivalent to savings of £189 a year, every year, for every UK citizen.
The report also acknowledges that the UK's green building sector has made some encouraging progress in recent years, through the introduction of the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) scheme and the Green Investment Bank, the delivery of new energy efficiency schemes, the emergence of a community energy strategy, and the early stages of a national smart meter rollout.
"We have known for a long time that energy measures in buildings are cheaper in the long run," said Dave Sowden, chief executive of the SEA, in a statement. "Now the Government's own tools and assumptions yield the same answer. There is a compelling case here to create a much stronger focus in energy policies on buildings. This will reduce waste, enhance energy security, reduce imported fossil fuels, lower people's fuel bills and make a huge contribution to the UK economy. It is win-win all round."
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This article has been adapted from an article published by BusinessGreen.