Seven domestic energy use statistics everyone should know

May 19, 2011

Seven stunning statistics every housing professionals should know 

1.   The average UK home emits 6.2 tons of carbon a year

This is based on an average home, defined as a two up two down semi-detached property. Homes make up over 28% of all UK carbon emissions. This is mainly due to the fact that many of the homes built in the last 60 years have not had a focus on insulation, airtightness or adequate ventilation methods.

2.   82% of energy used in the house is used in heating the home

This includes both space and water heating which accounts for 58% and 24% of the total energy used in the average household respectively.

3.   From Autumn 2012 every home can gain over £6,000 for energy efficiency improvements

The Energy Security and Green Economy Bill is about to enter the House of Commons. This will enable people to take out a loan to make improvements to a house. This loan will be paid off through lower fuel bills. The Green Deal is expected to save households upto £400 a year and create upto 100,000 jobs.

4.   Many UK homes could generate over £600 every year from electricity right now

Feed in tariffThe Feed-in Tariff means that each home owner can earn income for generating electricity. For improvements to existing homes people can earn 43.3pence per kilowatt hour. On a large roof this can equate to over £600. Factors to consider include the angle of the panel. A South West or South East facing panel will be 5% less efficient than a south facing panel. The angle of the panel is important also. A flat system produces about 13% less. This will all impact on your potential Feed-in Tariff returns.

5.   Water use accounts for over 20% of energy use

While writing up some work for a housing association that was retrofitting their homes we noticed an important point. Water accounts for over 20% of all energy use in a home. Where we use less water, we also save energy.

6.   Education can save families over £300 a year

Our motto is build tight, ventilate and educate right. Research shows that where people understand their homes they are able to save considerable amounts on fuel bills.

In one research study carried out by Worthing Homes residents saved more from education than they did from £7,000 worth of retrofitting. In some instances residents were saving over £300 more a year. This compared with £38 saved from retrofit works only.

7.   Retrofits costs range from £7,000 to £40,000 

Depending on whether you are moving to 20% to 80% less carbon retrofitting a property can cost tens of thousands of pounds.  Many of these costs result from technical aspects of building to low carbon, in particular getting to low air tightness and good ventilation levels in existing homes and renewable technologies.

Indeed when allowing for monitoring and dissemination of findings the Retrofit for the Future grants allowed up to £150,000 per home. These projects took homes to extremely low carbon levels.