There are many benefits to constructing buildings that are energy efficient, as well as to retrofitting old properties that do not match up to the high standards required to make a real difference in this area.
Writing for Business Green, E3G’s Pedro Guertler claimed that government spending on domestic energy efficiency is not only beneficial for the environment, but also affordable and could boost the economy.
He stressed that it’s not possible to “decarbonise our economy without being serious about energy savings”. That extends beyond domestic buildings of course, with work also needed on business premises to bring them up to standard.
Mr Guertler points out that our homes and offices are responsible for one third of our carbon emissions as a nation, and therefore making these buildings more efficient, such as by installing window films and better insulation, could make a significant dent in our annual emissions and help us hit our targets in this area.
The impact of energy efficiency gains can be seen in our domestic energy use between 2004 and 2015 when, despite more and more electronic gadgets entering our homes, energy demand fell by one fifth.
A combination of government and public investment in properties is required to bring every home in the country up to standard, he stated, citing recommendations from a new report by the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group.
It isn’t only in the UK where businesses and homes could benefit from improved energy efficiency in their buildings. In the US, a number of cities are taking steps to reduce the carbon emissions generated by their building stock, setting their own targets and plans rather than waiting for the central government to provide a solution.