Fuel Poverty

With the government’s net zero agenda and race against time to tackle climate action, energy usage is a large contender. 22% of carbon emissions originate from energy usage in homes. However, less than 2% of homes in UK have access to low carbon heating[1]. Hence, the government has published a Fuel Poverty Strategy to ensure all fuel-poor homes have an energy efficiency rating of Band C by 2030[2].

Fuel poverty refers to households that are “living on a lower income which cannot be kept warm at reasonable cost” and statistically refers to households spending more than 10% of income to maintain a heating regime. However, this depends on factors such as household income, household energy requirements and fuel prices.

In 2020, the government presented an Energy White paper “Powering our net zero future” to address the challenges and impacts of COVID on the social housing sector, with the emphasis on “building back better” resulting in “building back greener”. Although the pandemic has forced society to re-assess the way in which it operates, the challenge of climate change and decarbonising the housing sector still remains unsolved. Hence the mission is to transform the social housing sector by improving the energy efficiency measures by regulation of the energy performance, calculated by energy performance certificates (EPCs). This in turn will result in lower consumption and hence reducing household bills to ultimately minimise the households suffering from fuel poverty. In addition to improving energy efficiency measures, this can be achieved by low-carbon technologies, such as air source heat pumps, solar PB, ground source heat pumps and more.

 

 Figure 1: Example of Energy performance rating (Gov.UK, 2019)

 The government has committed to improving building energy performance by providing £1 billion of funding to support decarbonisation of the housing sector. This includes government schemes such as the Green Homes Grant, Public Sector Decarbonisation Scheme and Social Housing Decarbonisation Fund.

Panacea provides bespoke and tailored solutions for energy efficiency measures to reduce carbon emissions and costs. This includes equipment procurement, energy consumption analysis, developing bespoke funding mechanisms, performance management, installation and other services that comprise full life cycle services. Projects include Solar PV, Bio-Generation, Battery Storage, other Energy Efficiency equipment and software including management and installation.

Key takeaways

  • In order to reach net-zero targets by 2050, EPC ratings in the housing sector must be improved, the first step in the right direction, not the only solution.
  • Government funding can be used to decarbonise social housing stock, check your eligibility today.

What next?

  • If you’re a housing association and looking to decarbonise your housing stock and improve EPC ratings, get in touch with Panacea today.

[1] https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/path-net-zero-energy-saving-trust/

[2] https://assets.publishing.service.gov.uk/government/uploads/system/uploads/attachment_data/file/819606/fuel-poverty-strategy-england-consultation.pdf

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