The tragedy unfolding in the Ukraine cannot be underestimated in terms of cost to human life, with events happening that we hoped we’d never again see in Europe. On top of the devastation of war, other threats are emerging too, including energy supply. While the UK gets very little gas from Russia, we are vulnerable to gas markets that we are unable to control. With news that, Russia has turned off gas supplies totally to Germany, it is evident that we need to reduce our exposure to volatile gas markets entirely.
Just after the Second World War, 90% of the UK’s power generation was from coal, joined later by a steady flow of North Sea oil and natural gas. Yet as time went by, we drifted into dependence on foreign sources. In coming decades, we will need hundreds of billions invested into clean energy, nuclear and green hydrogen which will all form a critical part of our approach to greater energy independence. This is the premise behind Government’s British Energy Security Strategy.
The British Energy Security Strategy outlines a much-anticipated plan to reach energy independence and Net Zero Carbon. On its publication, the strategy drew mixed reactions, with particular praise for its renewed wind power solutions, but strong criticism for the glaring omission of retrofit and energy efficient home products. We can’t just rely on nuclear, wind farms or new build. We need to improve the energy performance of the existing housing stock which means retrofitting circa 26 million homes in just under three decades. While maybe not a big headline-hitter like the building of new atomic plants, improving the energy efficiency of our existing housing stock, if not tackled, could totally derail our Net Zero journey.
Unlike long term projects such as nuclear plants and wind farms, retrofit solutions are available today, and can immediately start to combat climate change. By creating better incentives for energy efficient homes, such as insulation, and double glazing schemes, introducing long-term incentives to install more solar panels, heat pumps, and batteries, and an expansion of the Boiler Upgrade Scheme, householders would start to see the benefits now with lower fuel bills.
The energy crisis is affecting everyone in the UK now, so we need to collectively take action now with solutions that are available now.
If you’re a homeowner who wants to find out more about how HIES installers can help you make your house more energy efficient:
If you’re an installer who wants to find out more about the benefits of HIES membership and how to access and make the most of the burgeoning renewables sector:Click here