Further evidence (if any was necessary) that Prospect’s influence stretches right to the very highest echelons of British political power: following John Beddington’s call in these pages for UK homes to be made more carbon friendly, the government will announce plans this week to give one in four homes a complete eco-makeover.
According to today’s Guardian, the campaign will involve “giving 7m houses and flats a complete refit to improve insulation, and will be compared to the 10-year programme that converted British homes to gas central heating in the 1960s and 1970s. Householders could also be encouraged to install small-scale renewable and low-carbon heating systems such as solar panels and wood-burning boilers.”
Sound familiar? Beddington, the government’s Chief Scientific Advisor, had already outlined in December 2008’s issue of Prospect the importance of adapting our buildings in the fight to lower UK carbon emissions.
“If we really want to sustain the planet, we must first fix the buildings where we live, work and play…Only a third of British homes have good loft insulation. Even modest improvements, when combined with modern boilers, can cut energy use for heating by over 30 per cent. And compared to ambitious “micro-generation” installations—new ways of producing power in small amounts, close to home—most of these measures pay their way relatively quickly.”