When the IPCC mitigation report comments on the possibilities and likely effects of different emissions reduction strategies, it usually relies on quantitative integrated assessment models (IAMs) to do so.
The government’s energy security strategy, released in full on Thursday afternoon, is shaped by ambitious – yet vague – promises for nuclear power and offshore wind, with little mention of new measures for energy efficiency or onshore wind.
As the government faces widespread criticism for failing to act to help us keep our homes warm more affordably – and at less cost to the climate – a feeling of powerlessness is palpable for many. The idea that fuel poverty is just another thing more of us will have to “learn to live with” is devastating.
Tens of thousands of Britain’s poorest energy customers could miss out on a chance to bring their bills down before winter – because the government allowed its flagship insulation scheme to run out.
Conservative prime ministers are fond of invoking the 1940s spirit of post-war reconstruction when talking about the scale of their climate ambitions.
But Britain wasn’t rebuilt by making ordinary people scramble for scraps from the market – and we won’t see off Putin like that, either.
Europe finds itself in a bind; horrified by Russia’s action in Ukraine, yet, at least in part, funding Moscow’s war chest through the billions spent on Russian gas imports.
In short: the retrofit model isn’t working, and the whole problems needs re-framing. We need to be thinking about ‘thermal comfort’ instead of insulation.
It is about time the UK government got to grips with retrofitting existing housing to scale up home energy efficiency across the country.
In 2019 the Vermont Charlotte Energy Committee and Transition Town Charlotte (population 4,500) participated in an exciting initiative to make and install inexpensive energy-saving window inserts in ten Charlotte homes and one community building.
In a new paper, published in Renewable and Sustainable Energy Reviews, we examine the economy-wide impact of these effects and find they may erode more than half of the potential energy savings from improved energy efficiency.
Ultimately, the goal of lowering our carbon footprint at home is to reduce our energy consumption while taking embodied carbon into consideration.
The incorporation of Fanger’s equations into building codes to create a set-point for comfort not only locks in assumptions that only apply to a male, suited minority, but also a level of energy use and hence carbon emissions which, in aggregate, contribute to the climate emergency.