Energiesprong: Dutch-style retrofits could slash carbon emissions from 11 million UK homes


Energiesprong house retrofitting approach could slash emissions, study suggests

With £120m of backing, Dutch style retrofits could slash carbon emissions, gas demand and consumer bills, Green Alliance report argues.

More than 11 million UK homes could be suitable for a highly energy efficient, Dutch-style approach to retrofitting that could drastically slash carbon emissions, gas demand, and consumer bills, according to a new study today by Green Alliance.

The report argues that learning lessons from the Dutch government’s pioneering Energiesprong approach to retrofitting – a one-step method where ultra-efficient insulation, heat pumps and home batteries are all installed at the same time – could provide a solution for millions of fuel poor homes and make a major dent in UK emissions.

The method has been widely used to create net zero emission houses in the Netherlands, and sees rapid retrofits carried out which are then paid for through long term energy savings. Green Alliance estimates it has the potential in the UK to reduce emissions by 37 million tonnes overall, the equivalent to removing 17 million cars from the roads.  MORE

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The False Choice Between Economic Growth and Combatting Climate Change

Last year, the U.S.’s carbon-dioxide emissions increased by an estimated 3.4 per cent, the second-largest gain in the past two decades.  Photograph by Fernando Moleres / Panos Pictures / Redux
In 1974, the economist William Nordhaus described the transition from a “cowboy economy” to a “spaceship economy.” In the former, he wrote, “we could afford to use our resources profligately,” and “the environment could be used as a sink without becoming fouled.” But, in the spaceship economy, “great attention must be paid to the sources of life and to the dumps where our refuse is piled.” He added, “Things which have traditionally been treated as free goods—air, water, quiet, natural beauty—must now be treated with the same care as other scarce goods.”
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As a small but growing coalition of congressional Democrats, led by Representative Alexandria Ocasio-Cortez, have outlined as part of their Green New Deal, transforming the energy sector—and, really, the entire economy, in a just and more equitable way—will require some sort of carbon tax (preferably a “fee and dividend” approach, which distributes tax revenues as rebates directly to citizens), and also new regulations and huge investments. “We can decarbonize the electric sector at a fairly low cost….That’s where some of the cheapest emissions reductions are to be found. Extensive government subsidies could hasten the spread of renewables—specifically, solar, wind, and batteries—and offset any rise in emissions elsewhere….There are ways to reduce the use of fossil fuels in heating; utilities, for instance, can create incentive programs so that homeowners have a motivation to replace their boilers with electric heat pumps. MORE