Energy efficiency MOT needed for homes
by David Masters
December 4, 2008
A government thinktank has proposed that homeowners in the UK should be required to undergo annual MOT-style green building tests.
The suggestion by Foresight, the government’s science thinktank, was released in a report detailing a number of radical ways for the UK to meet its carbon cutting goals over the next fifty years.
Other recommendations included less centralisation and more small scale energy production, and ‘intelligent’ metering in homes and businesses.
Whilst the government has paid attention to making new houses more eco-friendly, Foresight believes more must be done to upgrade current buildings.
In 2050, when the government expects to reach its goals on cutting greenhouse gas emissions, around 70% of current building stock will still be in use – meaning that more must be done to encourage homeowners to make the necessary changes.
MOT style energy efficiency tests of buildings – which are responsible for more than half of the UK’s energy use – would help to meet CO2 reduction targets.
Under the scheme, householders and businesses would be penalised if they failed to cut energy use in their properties.
Possible penalties for failing the MOT include being denied building insurance, higher council tax, and being unable to sell the building.
In the report, Foresight warn that the UK is currently ‘locked-in’ to centralised energy production methods, and that radical reform is needed if the UK is to transform the way it creates and uses energy.
The report adds that the government must put the threefold issues of climate change, fuel poverty and energy security at the centre of its future choices for energy production.
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