Greener buildings could save UK £12bn a year says SEA energy manifesto

INFOGRAPHIC: A new manifesto published today (7 July) by the Sustainable Energy Association (SEA) has calculated that the UK could save £12.1billion per year by 2050 by focusing energy policy on greener buildings.

The report uses the government’s own ‘Pathways’ energy calculator to show that a greater focus on green buildings and energy efficient construction would prove more cost effective than prioritising large-scale energy projects such as nuclear power and large off-shore wind farms.

The SEA estimates that measures such as low carbon buildings and buildings which produce their own renewable energy will be cheaper than large-scale energy generation measures, with small scale-energy efficiency costing an estimated £91 per MWh and large-scale renewable measures costing £108 per MWh.

The manifesto reports that such energy saving measures would equate to a saving of £189 per year for every UK citizen.

The SEA, which represents a host of businesses such as energy providers British Gas and Eon and insulation specialists Kingspan, called upon the government to adopt a new approach to energy sustainability with the following central recommendations:


  • An Energy in Buildings Strategy 
  • A major focus on the use of smart technology to treat buildings as an integral part of the energy system 
  • A new approach to home heating, recognising the potential of the heating installer 
  • A major infrastructure-based energy refurbishment of the UK’s buildings


SEA chief executive Dave Sowden said: “We have known for a long time that energy measures in buildings are cheaper in the long-run. Now the Government’s own tools and assumptions yield the same answer.

“There is a compelling case here to create a much stronger focus in energy policies on buildings. This will reduce waste, enhance energy security, reduce imported fossil fuels, lower people’s fuel bills and make a huge contribution to the UK economy. It is win/win all round.

“Technology manufacturers, installers, merchants, financiers and engineers; all have mobilised to identify how we can deliver an ambitious and affordable energy future for the UK. This Manifesto is our appeal to all the main political parties to come with us and build new consensus on energy policy, with buildings at its heart.” 

The manifesto comes just days after Association for the Conservation of Energy stated that the total number of energy efficiency measures in the UK had fallen by 60% in the last year and estimated that measures such as solid wall and loft insulation and new boilers would fall by 23% this year.

You can read the full SEA manifesto below:

Matt Field

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