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The value of retrofitting carbon-saving measures into fuel poor social housing


With current fuel poverty and carbon-saving policies continuing to miss their targets in the UK, the synergy between the two problems is investigated to highlight an approach that could be mutually beneficial. Focussing on the 550,000 fuel poor socially housed dwellings in the UK, costs of between £3.9 and £17.5 bn are estimated as the required capital investment for achieving deep-cut carbon savings (defined as at least 50%) across this section of the housing stock, with a potential total annual carbon saving of 1.7 MtCO2. It is assumed that such costs would be largely (or totally) state-funded, though additional private investment could clearly increase the possible carbon savings across this section of the stock. The use of these socially housed fuel poor dwellings as low-carbon exemplars is discussed, and benefits for the private housing sector are postulated. The study also focuses on the problem of installing non-cost effective measures, i.e. technologies that would not currently be encouraged by existing subsidy schemes, but which might be necessary for achieving large carbon-saving targets.