It has been some months since lockdown began in the UK due to Covid-19.
As a result many of our homes became offices, gyms and schools. Time spent cooking and baking increased as did DIY. Retailers reporting a 42% increase in May. Many of us preferring the new way of living.
More time at home means higher energy costs. 38% of the nation now have concerns about paying their energy bills. This rises to 45% in Black Asian Minority Ethnic communities and for younger people.
It has been recorded that 79% of people have been using video chat conferencing facilities such as Zoom to conduct business meetings and to keep in touch with friends and family. This has also revealed a digital divide between the “rich and poor”. Many lacking devices and internet altogether. This also means a rise of energy being used in Data Centres.
With the above in mind, improving energy efficiency must now be a priority to help the vulnerable, cut carbon emissions and create jobs. Not only in new builds but existing properties too. There is also a need for future homes to be resilient to climate shocks, including flash floods, urban heat and drought. As well as energy efficiency, future housing strategies must remove the digital divide. All homes should have access to high quality internet connections.
The CBI (Confederation of British Industry) have called for oil and gas boilers to be phased out by 2025, to be replaced by low carbon heating systems. The National Grid has estimated 8 million heat pumps will need to be installed. There is also call for water efficiency to homes to be enhanced. These will make considerable changes to how we live. To make them happen, large levels of investment will be needed and many jobs will be created.
The future in relation to Covid-19 remains uncertain and living every aspect of our lives in our homes will continue to be the norm. With these substantial changes in the pipeline, the result is a win/win for energy efficiency and greatly improving our homes. A reduction in energy costs is always going to be welcomed, as are the benefits to the environment. Perhaps if we all had a garden or green space to use it would be perfect!!