Rising energy prices, energy inefficient housing and low incomes have resulted in high levels of fuel poverty across the UK. The adverse health effects of living in a cold, poorly ventilated home are well-established, ranging from cardiovascular and respiratory problems to depression. There is also evidence of wider social impacts, such as social isolation, with some people having to make choices between heating their home or buying the food they need.
An energy efficient home reduces wasted energy usage and its demand for non-renewable energy resources. It may also offer healthier and cleaner living conditions through better ventilation and maintenance of moderate temperature. A financial saving may also occur in an energy efficient home. There are a range of energy saving measures that can be applied to existing homes and also new standards emerging for the building of new homes.
We are seeking ways to improve the efficiency of new and existing homes while ensuring that we don’t make them less affordable for those who want to live in them.
Imagining the Future of Exeter
Through our engagement activities with the diverse business and local communities of Exeter and by analysing best practices of other cities across the globe we have identified a set of features that Exeter will need to demonstrate in order to meet this Goal.
- A programme has launched to facilitate the retrofit of homes and buildings in the city to reduce energy demand and costs, contributing to ending fuel poverty
- The provision of affordable, quality and sustainable housing in the city has increased so that lower income families are able to live centrally and have easy access to employment and services in town centres
- Exeter has launched a Local Retraining Scheme for sustainable construction, enabling workers to adapt to the demand for skills such as retrofitting for energy efficiency
- All domestic homes in Exeter are insulated to a high standard (C+), reducing the energy needed to heat homes
- 100% of Exeter City Council housing stock homes are rated as high energy performance (C+)
- Energy efficiency in the private rented sector is at a high standard (C+) following work with landlords and tenants through discretionary licencing and green leases
- Nobody in Exeter will suffer from a cold home due to fuel poverty and/or inability to have the necessary insulation and heating
- 12,000 new energy efficient homes have been built in Exeter that do not assume residents have access to a private car
- Smart energy technology is in all homes in Exeter, supporting the efficient use of energy and supporting reduction in fuel poverty
- “Exeter has implemented an education programme/awareness campaign to support potential demand reduction of 104 GWh in the domestic sector through upgrading appliances to the most efficient models.”
- Exeter policy supports housing design features which create a healthy environment that promotes wellbeing as a standard requirement.