Energy efficiency measures installed in the past decade will save bill payers £1.15bn this year, as global gas prices surge in response to reduced supply, increased demand and the war in Ukraine, finds new analysis.
Between 2009 and 2019, around 6 million homes were upgraded to Energy Performance Certificate Band C, which is the government’s target for 2035.
New analysis from the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit (ECIU) found upgrading homes from EPC band D – the average in England and Wales – to EPC band C results in a 20% cut in gas demand per home, meaning that gas bills will also be slashed by around £194 per year from April 2022.
With gas prices expected to rise further in the UK and globally in October 2022, and persist into 2023 and 2024, gas bills will also increase from £970 in April 2022 to an estimated £1,455 in October 2022.
This means that total savings in the next few years are likely to be increased, potentially up to nearer £2 billion per year.
Jess Ralston, Analyst at the Energy and Climate Intelligence Unit, said: ‘Insulation schemes like ECO work. They cut the energy being wasted from leaky rooves and walls, cut the amount of gas we need to keep warm and so bring down bills, and they do all that permanently. Why are we not talking about this more? If we want to increase security of supply and reduce bills at the same time, the only answer is to use less gas. That means insulation. It’s really not that hard to grasp.’
Rates of energy efficiency installations in England peaked at 2.3 million per year in 2012 but have dropped by around 90% since then.
Previous ECIU analysis has shown that had peak rates of energy efficiency installations continued, then an additional £3 billion could have been saved by the end of March 2022.
The Chancellor announced a package of emergency measures to help with bills earlier in the year, including a loan scheme that will reduce everyone’s annual bills by £200 in 2022 and a Council Tax rebate of £150 for homes rated in council tax bands A-D.
However, the ECIU’s analysis shows that investment into energy efficiency delivers the same or additional savings to the Chancellor’s schemes, but on a permanent basis for each year to come.
Photo by Erik Mclean