How are energy efficient homes contributing towards net zero initiative ?

Written by Kunal Sawhney, CEO, Kalkine Group

With a broader target of reducing carbon emissions in the United Kingdom, the government has remained proactive in implementing various measures that can help achieve a net zero status.

Fossil fuel-powered vehicles are not the only ones that are responsible for increasing the carbon footprint in the environment. A number of other factors, including industrial smoke, houses, the businesses that are largely dependent on machines operated by petroleum and airplanes, collectively release more carbon into the atmosphere.

The Ministry of Housing, Communities & Local Government has recently furnished the details of energy efficient homes in the UK as the number of energy performance certificates (EPCs) for the newly constructed properties have increased by 16% over the course of the last 12 months. According to the housing ministry, as many as 251,000 EPCs were registered in the 12 months to June of 2021 as compared to the similar period a year earlier.

The government has made EPCs mandatory for all domestic buildings, especially the new houses following which the owners can ascertain the energy efficiency of their respective homes and explore possible ways through which additional costs can be minimised.

Across England and Wales, about 85% of the new homes are in the highest energy efficient bands with an energy rating of A or B. Increasing the proportion of energy efficient homes is one such step that can bolster the government’s response towards the net zero plan.

The government-led Future Homes Standard has been primarily introduced with the objective of ensuring that all the new homes should produce 75% lower CO2 emissions as compared to the houses that are built according to the conventional standards. The set of instructions and standards laid out in the Future Homes Standard initiative is highly likely to improve the overall quality of housing across the United Kingdom.

This will help in corroborating that all the new homes are strictly following the energy efficiency standards, effectively reinforcing the path to zero emissions by the year 2050. Under the green industrial revolution, the government of the UK is also supporting the usage of Modern Methods of Construction (MMC).

Earlier this year in March, the Chancellor of the Exchequer Rishi Sunak announced the MMC Taskforce that can expedite the delivery of homes that are built according to the latest energy efficiency conventions in England. The government also backed the initiative with a
£10 million of seed funding.

The main agenda of MMC includes reduction of construction waste, delivery of more energy efficient homes, addressing the shortage in construction skills, improvising the overall productivity of houses and upgrading the quality of homes.

Before the emergence of the Covid-19 pandemic, the largest economies of the world were thoroughly consulting each other to explore the possible measures with which the carbon footprint can be reduced to very low levels.
Following the stern warning publicised by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the UK has urged the global economies to regather and take rigorous steps that can improve the response to avert earlier-than-expected damage to the environment. From unconditional heatwaves, droughts, over warming, heavy precipitation, and the gradually melting ice on the Arctic Sea have raised serious alarms with regard to the potential hazards of climate change in the upcoming decades.

The nations lobbying the UK are expected to amplify the ambition on climate change and their response towards the adverse effects before the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26), scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.