Report says poor-quality homes waste energy
Maggie Pagano, in a report for the Daily Mail, has criticised home builders for constructing low-quality homes that are not very energy efficient.
Pagano says that while energy suppliers are providing energy-saving tips and the government is looking at helping low-income families with their very high energy bills, this distracts from a bigger issue – the low-quality homes that have been built in the UK over the last 50 years, which are constructed to lower standards compared to the rest of Europe. Pagano notes that in most of Western Europe, new homes are built with double or triple glazing and have energy-efficient underfloor heating as standard.
In the report, Pagano says she wants developers to build homes to a much higher energy standard. Existing homes can be improved by installing high-standard insulation and underfloor heating. It is estimated by the Energy Efficiency Infrastructure Group that better insulation could save households £500 or more a year on energy bills.
The government is encouraging homes to install heat pumps and is providing grants to help cover their cost. Heat pumps work at lower temperatures than conventional boilers, so are ideal for combining with underfloor heating, which operates well at lesser temperatures.
Even with grants, heat pumps are expensive and unaffordable for many households. Electric underfloor heating is a more cost-effective solution, as it only requires an electric power source and no hot water pipes, heat pumps or boilers. Electric underfloor heating is easy to install and can be fitted by people with moderate DIY skills.