A new report ‘Better Homes, Better Wales, Better World’ commissioned by Welsh ministers calls for major changes to most homes in the country, over the next thirty years.
Energy Saving Trust welcomes the recommendations in the report. Max Lacey-Barnacle, Energy Saving Trust’s Wales Policy Officer says:
‘A major programme to improve the insulation and heating systems in Welsh homes should be a top priority for Wales, as this report recommends. 15% of Wales’ carbon emissions come from homes, so this 30-year home decarbonisation programme is central to Wales’ contribution to fighting climate change. And the programme will deliver warmer homes with lower bills, protecting people from fuel poverty.’
The Welsh government currently has programmes to tackle fuel poverty and improve energy efficiency that support many householders to install energy efficient boilers or insulate walls and roofs, particularly those on low incomes. But this report argues for a step change in action on home energy in Wales. Welsh Ministers commissioned the report last year and it was produced by an independent Advisory Group on the Decarbonisation of Homes in Wales, chaired by Christopher Jofeh of Arup and involving the Energy Saving Trust.
Some of the key recommendations in the report include:
Not all the powers to achieve the Report’s recommendations are in the hands of Welsh policy makers. The report calls on UK Government (which has overall responsibility for energy supply) to continue to promote a switch away from electricity generated by coal, oil and gas. Max Lacey-Barnacle explains: ‘We’re still going to need electricity in our homes in 2050, even if we’re using very little energy for heating because our homes are so well insulated. So that electricity to power our computers, fridges and other appliances has to come from clean sources, like wind turbines.’
Referencing a forthcoming new Welsh strategy for tackling Fuel Poverty, Energy Saving Trust's Max Lacey-Barnacle continued: ‘We're hopeful that many of the recommendations in the report will be developed in the Welsh Government's forthcoming Fuel Poverty Strategy. In particular, targeting hard to reach low-income areas and communities in Wales, coupled with a focus on homes that are more expensive and difficult to insulate. There is a powerful link between having a warm, high quality home and the quality of people’s lives, particularly for the most vulnerable.’