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The opportunity to improve our homes And buildings will benefit us all
The opportunity to improve our homes and buildings will benefit us all
BENEFITS IN THE HOME AND WALLET...
WARMER HOMES AND BUILDINGS
Improving the energy efficiency of homes and buildings will make them warmer and easier to heat. An average 9,000 excess winter deaths each year in England and Wales are attributable to cold homes and there is evidence of the health and well-being benefits of improved heating and energy efficiency, including reduced hospital emergency admissions for cardiovascular and respiratory conditions. A warmer home leads to improved health and more comfort for the residents and has greater benefits to society as a whole.
SMARTER HOMES AND BUILDINGS
As heating systems get replaced, so will heating controls. The move to connected homes is already seeing consumers using smart thermostats alongside other smart devices, and this trend will only continue with the rise of greener homes and the increased uptake of electric vehicles. Smart homes can improve the comfort within the building whilst reducing energy bills as heating becomes more responsive to the occupants needs.
Home owners and occupiers may also see the growth of 'Demand Side Management' schemes, which allow homes to participate in the balancing of the country's energy systems, in return for money off their bills, all without lifting a finger. In homes with heat pumps and water cylinders or thermal stores, water can be pre-heated at times associated
with low energy demand and stored for later use when energy prices might be higher. Consumers can also sell energy back to the grid, although this is dependent on the presence of, and access to, a smarter grid.
FUTURE-PROOFED VALUE AND CHEAPER RUN-COSTS
Green upgrades to property have an additional benefit for owners — this will future-proof against compliance to Future Homes Standard and is likely to mean property value is retained. According to a recent study, homes with the highest energy ratings are already worth up to 240,000 more on average compared with less sustainable properties'. For occupiers, low-carbon heating should also be cheaper to run.
BENEFITS FOR THE COUNTRY AND ECONOMY NATIONAL ENERGY SECURITY
Our natural gas supply is heavily reliant on the global market and international imports. Shifting to electricity, hydrogen and biofuels based heating will make the country much more self reliant.
The UK has a wealth of offshore wind resource and, if harnessed well, will be the driving force behind our heating fuels of the future. Whether homes and buildings are heated directly through electricity (through heat pumps) or indirectly through electricity being converted to hydrogen, the UK homes and buildings of the future have the potential to be heated by nationally and locally produced energy.
The UK's supply and prices will therefore be increasingly decoupled from volatile global energy markets.
INCREASED SKILLS AND JOBS
Tackling the challenge of changing the heating solutions for 29 million homes, will bring with it a notable opportunity to create a wealth of jobs. With the right policy certainty and framework in place, we can provide the right
investment signals to realise the huge opportunity for green jobs. These jobs will vary in skills and location, from installing heat pumps in homes and buildings, to significant infrastructure programmes to convert current natural gas networks into hydrogen networks. Investment in local and national supply chains will be felt across the country.