Domestic energy efficiency improvements in the EU could avoid up to 27,500 premature deaths from indoor cold by 2030.
That’s according to several new research projects at the University of Manchester – one of these projects illustrates the economic value of these changes could be up to €2.5 billion (£2.2bn) due to premature mortality from indoor cold and up to €2.9 billion (£2.6bn) due to asthma morbidity from indoor dampness.
Another project found energy efficiency is a key factor in determining levels of thermal comfort – researchers identified warm weather space cooling as a significant challenge across the northern hemisphere, in light of climate change pressures.
The project recommends the establishment of a minimum standard for housing across Europe and the banning of disconnections for consumers to avoid fuel poverty.
The University of Manchester has also said it will work with the Greater Manchester Combined Authority to improve the circumstances of vulnerable households in several areas.
Professor Stefan Bouzarovski from the Manchester Urban Institute said: “Through this array of activities, we are showing that investing in the energy efficiency of residential dwellings can address the pressing challenge of climate change in many unexpected ways, beyond reducing energy demand and carbon dioxide emissions.
“We have also identified the policy channels through which energy efficiency measures can reach vulnerable households – many of these involve working with local authorities and transnational bodies at the same time.”