That’s according to a report commissioned by Energy Bill Revolution and co-funded by the UK Green Building Council which suggests that a national energy efficiency programme would create up to 108,000 jobs and cut natural gas imports by 26%, making the UK less vulnerable to unstable energy markets and creating a more resilient economy.

The programme would also cut carbon emissions from homes by 23.6 million tonnes per year by 2030.

Director of the Energy Bill Revolution Ed Matthew said: “We have one of the most badly insulated housing stocks in Europe and as a result a truly woeful record on winter deaths and fuel poverty.

“Fixing Britain’s badly-insulated homes won’t just save lives, it will provide a massive economic boost to the UK economy and it pays for itself. There is now an overwhelming case for it to be made a top UK infrastructure investment priority.”

Solid investment

Commenting on the report, UK Green Building Council director of policy and communications John Alker said: “Government spending on energy efficiency is not a frivolous drain on the public purse, but a rock solid investment proposition for UK Plc.

“The challenge now for all political parties is to set out a way for energy efficiency to not only be classified as a national infrastructure priority, but to benefit from capital investment to pump prime the market. It can no longer be considered the poor relation to shiny new energy generation projects.”

Construction company Saint-Gobain are in support of the campaign.

The company’s advocacy leader Jade Lewis said: “The report details a positive approach to improving the UK’s housing stock, which is one of the poorest in Europe in terms of energy efficiency. Buildings are responsible for almost 37% of all UK carbon emissions, so it is important that this figure is reduced nationwide.

“Saint-Gobain would like to see energy efficiency retrofit a priority infrastructure spend in the UK. Much more needs to be done to simplify and incentivise the uptake of energy efficient retrofit measures if we are to reduce emissions from the built environment, meet our UK carbon reduction targets and tackle fuel poverty. We believe that a long-term fabric first approach is needed to meet these targets.”

Earlier this month, edie reported on unpublished EU figures used by environmentalists in call for a more ambitious goal for reducing energy use by 2030.

Lois Vallely

Action inspires action. Stay ahead of the curve with sustainability and energy newsletters from edie