Posted on: 12/09/2017
Energy efficient improvements to home heating, insulation, lighting and appliances could reduce the energy consumed in UK households each year by a quarter, according to researchers.
In total the savings could knock £270 off the average household energy bill of £1,100, a saving that is equivalent to the output of six nuclear power stations the size of Hinkley Point C.
The report, compiled by the UK Energy Research Centre and the University of Sussex Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, estimates that investing in efficient heating, insulation, controls, lighting and appliances could deliver a net benefit to the UK economy of £7.5 billion.
The full economic benefits of reducing energy demand by a quarter could be up to £47 billion.
This includes further economic benefits of improved health from warmer homes, stimulus to the economy of installing the energy efficiency improvements required, and capacity saved in the electricity system.
Some of these benefits would also arise from other types of low carbon investment.
The briefing paper also finds that it is technically possible to reduce energy demand by a further 25 per cent, and that these additional savings could also pay for themselves in the future. This means that it may be possible in time to halve energy demand in UK homes.
‘Huge potential for savings’
Jim Watson, Director of the UK Energy Research Centre, said:
“This research proves that there is still huge potential to save energy from UK homes. It is clear that reducing energy demand needs to be a priority if the government is serious about bringing down energy bills. It should be the centrepiece of the Clean Growth Plan, which is now overdue.”
Jan Rosenow, Senior Fellow at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, said:
‘“Past achievements go to show that huge energy cost savings can be realised quickly and without compromising the benefits households enjoy from their energy services. With further investment in energy efficiency, this trend can continue for many years to come, so there is every reason to be ambitious about a low cost energy future.”