Energy savings potential in UK housing and the role of energy efficiency

One quarter of the energy currently used in UK households could be saved by 2035 by cost-effective investment in energy efficiency, shows a new study written by researchers at the Centre on Innovation on Energy Demand (CIED), the University of Oxford and E3G.

This saving is approximately equivalent to the output of six nuclear power stations the size of Hinkley Point C. It would mean energy cost savings of approximately £270 per household per year, according to current energy prices.

The researchers looked at three scenarios – limited ambition, cost effective and technically possible – each assuming a different level of technology deployment in existing buildings.

They argue that energy efficiency can deliver significant social benefits and these benefits have to be reflected through public policy for the investment in energy efficiency to be socially optimal.

The study, written by Jan Rosenow, Pedro Guertler, CIED Co-Director Steven Sorrell and CREDS Director Nick Eyre, is based on the modelling of four groups of technologies: heating efficiency; appliance efficiency; heat networks; and individual low-carbon heating systems. Heating efficiency encompasses building fabric, heating controls and efficient boilers.

The key findings of this paper were published last year in the UKERC/CIED policy briefing on ‘Unlocking Britain’s First Fuel: The potential for energy savings in UK housing‘.

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