Insulation ‘could cut gas imports by three times more than new North Sea drilling’

Insulating many of the UK’s leakiest homes could save up to 384TWh of gas, new report suggests

Insulating British homes could reduce the need for importing gas from other countries up to three times more than new oil and gas projects in the North Sea.

That’s the key message of new analysis by the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU), which suggests getting the majority of the UK’s homes up to a basic level of insulation this decade could lead to a gas saving of 384TWh over the period 2030 to 2035.

This compares to 118TWh of gas that could be extracted by ‘already approved’ North Sea fields, according to the report.

The authors note that 384TWh is equivalent to nearly 20% of the current annual household gas demand or 11% of gas imports.

This week, Chancellor Jeremy Hunt will unveil the government’s Autumn Statement – it has already been reported that a fresh windfall tax could be part of the plan, which aims to fill the £50 billion-plus hole in public finances.

A government spokesperson told ELN: “The government is investing £6.6 billion in total this parliament to improve energy efficiency and decarbonise heating across the country, with the majority of our support targeting those on low income and vulnerable households.

“We have also committed to a £4 billion extension and expansion of the Energy Company Obligation, which will help an extra 450,000 families with green measures such as insulation.

“Huge progress has already been made, with the number of homes with an energy efficiency rating of C or above at 46% and rising, up from just 14% in 2010.”

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