25 per cent reduction in domestic demand could be driven by energy efficiency measures, claims UK Energy Research Centre

Energy efficiency measures worth £7.5bn could cut households’ average annual bills by £270, according to a new report.

Research from the UK Energy Research Centre, suggests domestic energy consumption could be reduced by a quarter through a combination of energy efficiency improvements, heat pumps and heat networks. The measures add up to a value of £7.5bn and all meet the Treasury’s cost effectiveness benchmarks, says the paper.

This reduction in energy consumption would equate to £270 in cost savings for the average household at current energy prices.

According to the briefing paper, deployment of these measures could reduce energy demand by around by 140 TWh per annum by 2035, which is equivalent to the output of six of the new nuclear power stations.

Nearly half (47 per cent) of the total savings by 2035 could be achieved through further improvements to building fabric, boiler replacements and upgrades of heating controls within existing homes.

A further 36 per cent would come through the installation of heat pumps and heat networks. Energy efficient appliances and lighting provide another 11 per cent of the total savings.

The paper finds that it is technically possible to reduce energy demand by a further 25 per cent which would equate to a halving of energy demand in UK homes.

These savings are on top of the £490 per annum households have saved per annum thanks to energy efficiency measures over the past decade, which have helped to reduce the UK’s total household energy consumption by one fifth.

The briefing paper comes in the run up to the publication of the government’s clean growth plan and energy cost review and insists it is more cost effective to target domestic emissions than those from electricity supply, industry and transport.

Jim Watson, director of the UK Energy Research Centre, said: “This research proves that there is still huge potential to save energy from UK homes. It is clear that reducing energy demand needs to be a priority if the government is serious about bringing down energy bills. It should be the centrepiece of the Clean Growth Plan, which is now overdue.”

Jan Rosenow,senior fellow at the Centre on Innovation and Energy Demand, added:“Past achievements go to show that huge energy cost savings can be realised quickly and without compromising the benefits households enjoy from their energy services. With further investment in energy efficiency, this trend can continue for many years to come, so there is every reason to be ambitious about a low-cost energy.” 

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