This paper reviews the thermal performance of the existing UK housing stock, the main fabric efficiency incentive schemes and the barriers to obtaining deep energy and CO2 savings throughout the stock. The UK faces a major challenge to improve the thermal performance of its existing housing stock. Millions of dwellings possess ‘hard-to-treat’ solid walls and have glazing which is not cost effective to improve. A range of fabric efficiency incentive schemes exist, but many do not target the full range of private and social housing. From now on, the Green Deal will be the UK's key energy efficiency policy. However, the scheme is forecasted to have low consumer appeal and low incentives for investors. Moreover, calculated Green Deal loan repayments will be reliant upon estimated energy savings, yet it is claimed that retrofit measures may only be half as effective as anticipated due to a lack of monitoring, poor quality installation and the increased use of heating following refurbishment. Looking to Germany, there has been success through the Passivhaus standard, but the UK currently lacks appropriate skills and cost effective components to replicate this approach. In addition, the embodied energy in retrofit products and materials threatens to counter operational savings.


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Energy Policy

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