The UK’s 30 million homes account for more than 21% of the country’s total carbon emissions, with three-quarters of this coming from heating systems. 85% of UK homes are on the gas network, using fossil fuels and producing large quantities of carbon emissions. Retrofitting our homes to use low carbon heating systems is a major challenge which we must address to reach net zero emissions by 2050.
Anna Thompson opened the panel discussion by stating that we must consider retrofitting all building stock in the UK, and not just focus on homes. Hospitals, schools and public buildings must all be prioritised to reach net zero targets.
However, homes remain a focus in the retrofitting challenge as they represent such a large proportion of building stock across the UK and worldwide. It’s a particular challenge in the UK, as British homes lose heat up to three times faster than those across Europe. More than 80% of the homes we’ll be living in by 2050 have already been built and the majority will require major upgrades to reach required energy efficiency standards.