As many people are aware, the UK became the first major economy to pass a net zero emissions law and the legislation requires the UK to bring all greenhouse gas emissions to net zero by 2050.
The Historic Environment Forum recently released a report which highlighted that our homes account for 13% of all of the UK's carbon emissions, which is the third largest contributor. If we want to be carbon neutral by 2050, clearly our homes are going to have to change.
The research in the report however shed some extremely positive light on the matter; we are not going to have to rush for the bulldozer to do battle with John Nash or Robert Adam masterpieces and the beautiful terraces of Georgian housing in Mayfair or Belgravia. In fact, with some simple retrofitting of just adding or changing insulation methods or adding secondary glazing, these buildings' carbon emissions can be drastically reduced.
The report suggests, based on actual case studies, that reductions of up to 84% were possible in detached Victorian homes, up to 62% in a terrace of Georgian townhouses, 58% in an Edwardian terrace, 56% in a Victorian semi-detached house and 54% in a Victorian terrace.
This is fantastic news for people buying historic homes as, not only does this secure their future against potentially punitive environmental taxes or legislation, it means that their running costs can be reduced and they can be more easily absorbed into the effort to help Britain be carbon neutral by 2050.
Of course, this might be more difficult for listed buildings where the requirements are stricter and there will be additional considerations. This report should however be well received and reassure people buying and wanting to develop or improve historic homes.
Retrofitting historic homes ‘could save up to 84% in carbon emissions’