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Great British Refurb gets the thumbs up

Generating your own renewable energy, increased energy efficiency and whole-house eco-makeovers received the thumbs up from the UK public yesterday, according to new research. The survey aimed to establish what is needed for the public to take action to install renewable energy and generation and energy saving measures.

Respondents expressed a strong desire for Government action to decarbonise the existing housing stock. They called for set goals and targets, and a clear explanation of what’s needed from individuals, communities and businesses (why no mention of the public sector too, I wonder?). They also pointed out that individuals need help with the up-front costs of de-carbonising their homes through loans and grants.

Under the Government’s Great British Refurb plans, it aims to have the capacity to offer ‘whole house upgrades, with energy efficiency and micro-generation technologies’ to 400,000 homes by 2015, 7 million homes by 2020, and every home by 2030. That would result in 33 per cent cuts in household carbon emission by 2020, and near zero emission from households and business premises by 2050.

The research released by the Department of Energy and Climate Change will inform the Government’s long-term Heat and Energy Saving Strategy and Renewable Energy Strategy. Qualitative research took place in nine communities in England, Wales and Northern Ireland as part of the Big Energy Shift. The research is not statistically valid, or representative of the public, but gives an in depth look at people’s views, and how they change in the course of discussion.

It’s great to hear that as people understand the twin threats of climate change and security of energy supply, they become more enthusiastic about energy efficiency and microgeneration. And the Great British Refurb sounds much needed too. So, why is it taking so long? I’d like to hear news in tomorrow’s budget that it’s being speeded up, with the added benefit of creating much needed employment to help cope with the recession. You can but hope…

photo by Yellow Book Ltd

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