“Net Zero” refers to the balance between the amount of greenhouse gas emissions produced and the amount removed from the atmosphere. To achieve net zero, the UK must balance the carbon emissions we produce with the carbon we remove, essentially reducing our carbon footprint to zero.
According to the Office for National Statistics, UK residential households are responsible for 26% of the country’s total carbon emissions, contributing significantly to the UK’s greenhouse gas production.
The Landscape of the UK’s Historic Housing and Energy Efficiency
The UK’s historic housing landscape poses it with unique challenges. Many of the UK’s domestic buildings date from before WWII and are highly energy inefficient compared with modern standards. Thus, if the UK is to reach net zero standards by 2050 then these older homes must be retrofitted to bring them up to contemporary levels of energy efficiency. Given that there are millions of individual home owners and that retrofitting must generally be accomplished whilst each property is still occupied, the refurbishment of the UK’s older housing stock is simultaneously essential and at a moon-landing level of difficulty.
Carbon Emissions Reduction
Utilising cleantech and energy-efficient upgrades should address the emissions from the UK housing stock in the race to reach net-zero. However, in order to reach net-zero standards we need to address most homes in the UK. Which means that the cleantech and energy-efficient upgrades must be affordable. We believe that, if a whole property upgrade would repay itself within 5-8 years, then it would make sense for the majority of household owners.
Addressing Fuel Poverty:
In 2022 around 10% of UK households were in fuel poverty, struggling to heat their homes. Well insulated homes fitted with low-carbon technologies don’t just drive sustainability, they deliver affordability and comfort. Critically, then, in order to address the low income households and eventually to meet the net-zero targets we must offer households technologies that are affordable.
Health and Well-being
Energy-efficient homes, powered by the latest low-carbon technologies, mitigate health risks associated with cold, poorly insulated properties. This will help relieve some load on the services provided by the NHS.
Pre-seed and seed investment into cleantech solutions for domestic market can support job creation, fuel local economies, and position the UK at the forefront of green housing technologies.
If you are an innovator in low-carbon & clean technology for domestic customers, have a look at the companies that we supported so far checking Our Investments page.