Warmer lives

Improvements in energy efficiency can make a major contribution to tackling many of the problems that confront individuals and communities. It can:

  • Save money and reduce debts.
  • Reduce waste and improve the environment.
  • Improve housing conditions.
  • Create jobs and training opportunities.
  • Contribute to community regeneration.

Saving money and reducing debt

When energy efficiency is improved in the home, fuel bills are reduced. For those on a fixed income, cutting down on energy costs means a warmer and more comfortable home for the same amount of money. For the better off, less money spent on energy means more money to spend elsewhere. For all, lower living expenses means less reliance on borrowing and an opportunity to pay off existing debt.

Reducing waste and improving the environment

Climate change is a major problem affecting our planet caused in part by the increased and inefficient use of fossil fuels. The results are becoming clear in the form of problems such as increased flooding of low-lying areas. The UK Government is committed to Climate Change targets to reduce carbon dioxide emissions. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution has called for a 60% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2050. Energy efficiency can make a major contribution to meeting these targets.

Improving housing conditions

In the UK there are 4-6 million fuel-poor households, depending on definition, who cannot afford to keep warm, may not know how to improve their situation at a reasonable cost. A project to improve energy efficiency can give households like this the knowledge and the resources they need to improve their living conditions.

Creating jobs and training opportunities

Less money spent on fuel bills means more money to spend elsewhere. As energy efficiency improves, more income becomes available to spend within the community, which can only help to boost the local economy.

More directly, the work needed to improve energy efficiency has to be carried out by someone. Skills within the community can be developed, workers with relevant skills can practice their trade and others can be trained in specific areas of work including practical work, providing advice and administrative skills. Energy efficiency goods also boost the local economy.

Contributing to community regeneration

An energy efficient community benefits in a number of ways: socially, economically, environmentally, in improved physical and psychological health and, potentially, through job creation. These benefits combine to improve the stability and development of the community as public perception of the area improves both within and outside the area.

In both rich and poor communities many households are interested in the contribution they can make to improving the environment and to tackling fuel poverty and deprivation within society. Yet, many areas lack a sense of community. Community projects are one way in which local people can contribute. An energy efficiency project which people can support may, by achieving quick results, become a focus to rebuild community spirit.



Last Updated (Tuesday, 03 November 2009 16:13)