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Lynne Jones MP and Kevin McCloud build case for greener homes

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14 July 2009

Lynne Jones MP for Birmingham Selly Oak  today joined Grand Designs host Kevin McCloud outside Parliament to build a compelling case for a nationwide green refurbishment programme.

The Grand Designs Great British Refurb Campaign
, led by Kevin McCloud, has gained the support of thousands of homeowners across the country who are asking for Government support to make their homes more energy efficient.

Tackling our poorly insulated, inefficient housing stock, has the potential to reduce homeowners energy bills, create thousands of ‘green collar’ jobs, and help the UK meet its climate change targets.

Lynne Jones MP joined the campaign by helping Kevin McCloud insulate his ‘home’ outside the Houses of Parliament.

Lynne Jones said: “If the Government is to stand any chance of meeting its climate change targets, it’s essential that the energy efficiency of the UK’s 26 million existing homes is radically improved. As pointed out in a
recent report by the House of Commons’ EFRA Committee, it’s also vital if we are to tackle fuel poverty.  Homeowners can do their bit to reduce their energy consumption but they need more support and greater financial incentives to green their homes, and unlock the potential energy and cost savings within their four walls.”   (See also Climate Change: "the citizen's agenda")

It is estimated that even with retrofitting of the lowest cost improvements such as loft and wall insulation to our existing housing stock, nine million tonnes of carbon dioxide could be saved – the equivalent to the average CO2 output of over 1.5 million homes per year. The market for green refurbishment and improvement could be worth between £3.5 billion and £6.5 billion per year and thousands of new jobs could be created.  

The Great British Refurb Campaign is supported by the Energy Saving Trust, Grand Designs magazine, UK Green Building Council, and WWF-UK. Thousands of homeowners have already added their name to a petition calling upon the Prime Minister to make it easier, more affordable, and more attractive to go green at home. This petition will be delivered to No 10 Downing Street later this week and is well timed to coincide with the Government’s latest announcement on reducing the UK’s energy demands.

Kevin McCloud says: “We urgently need a plan of action to deliver on our climate change targets. A nationwide programme of green refurbishment is an ideal solution, creating a major reduction in carbon emissions and providing a boost to the economy through the creation of green collar jobs in our communities. But in order to achieve this, the Government must first remove the cost barrier and help encourage companies that can supply whole energy packages to cut out the hassle to householders thus making it a tangible solution for the nation’s householders.”

The Great British Refurb Campaign is calling upon the Government to: 

  • Offer households new ways to pay for green refurbishment, which would significantly reduce upfront costs and instead spread them over a longer period of time.
  • Provide better financial incentives for householders to refurbish their homes to make them greener and more energy efficient, through substantial government grants, subsidies or tax rebates.
  • Ensure installers are qualified and approved to undertake the work.

- ends -

Editor's notes

To find out more about the Great British Refurb Campaign visit

Kevin’s house has been put together by Parity Projects and the insulation is provided by campaign sponsors Knauf Insulation.

In their report Building a greener Britain, the Federation of Master Builders (FMB) estimates that the market for green refurbishment and improvement could be worth between £3.5 billion and £6.5 billion per year. Thus, such a programme of retrofit will help insulate the UK from future economic difficulties by placing the UK at the forefront of developments for greener buildings.

The recommendations from the Committee on Climate Change (CCC) in the carbon budgets to 2022 have identified that 9 million tonnes of CO2 (MtCO2) or 2.4 million tonnes of carbon (MtC) can be saved through the retrofitting the existing housing stock with low and zero carbon technologies.

It is estimated that a typical household could save on average £300 per year from the installation of energy saving measures and by changing behaviour with regard to the use of energy.  This estimate is based on Energy Saving Trust research as well as data provided by sources such as Defra’s Market Transformation Programme and the Building Research Establishment.

Statistics from the Energy Saving Trust:

Nearly a quarter of all UK homes (an estimated 6.3 million homes) still need cavity wall insulation, and nearly half of all UK homes need more loft insulation. Insulating these would save nearly 7 million tonnes (Mt) of CO2 a year. That’s the equivalent of having more than 2 million fewer cars on the UK’s roads.

There are an estimated 7 million un-insulated solid walls. If all these walls were dealt with, around 11 million tonnes of CO2 would be saved. That’s the equivalent of having 3.5 million fewer cars on the UK’s roads, and would save the same amount of CO2 as is currently produced by two million households – around 8 per cent of all UK homes, or nearly two thirds of all the homes in London.

The Energy Saving Trust estimates that 9,000 jobs could be created through insulating all empty cavity walls and all under-insulated lofts between now and 2015 (2,000 from insulating all cavity walls, and 7,000 from insulating all under-insulated lofts).

A further 7,000 jobs a year could be created between now and 2020 by insulating 10 per cent of solid walls, and 10,000 jobs a year between now and 2020 from installing 2 million domestic micro-generation units.

For further information, please contact:

Debbie Chapman, Senior Press Officer, tel: 01483 412397, 07771 818685 email:


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