Rapidly rising energy prices have made us more conscious than ever of the importance of energy efficiency and well-insulated homes. Plus, domestic heating accounts for roughly 20% of UK greenhouse gas emissions, so reducing energy expenditure in the home is crucial for reaching the city’s net zero targets: the greenest energy is the energy we don’t use.
Despite the urgency of the issue, it’s hard for residents to know what steps to take in the short term to improve the energy efficiency of their homes. A new report on Net Zero and Home Energy in Edinburgh, recently published by BANZAI (Bruntsfield Area Net Zero Action Initiative), addresses this by providing recommendations for cheap and straightforward retrofit measures. It focuses particularly on measures that are suitable for tenements and older stone-built properties of the kind found across Merchiston.
The report also looks at longer-term issues, such as:
- When does it make more sense to look at retrofitting groups of properties, for example in a whole tenement, rather than just on an individual level?
- How might we deal with the social and financial challenges of retrofit and low-carbon energy distribution at a communal level?
The report emerged from a public meeting on home energy and retrofit, organised by BANZAI in June 2022, which included presentations by three expert speakers and a discussion involving around 40 participants from across the city. It seems likely that follow-on projects on the theme of building retrofit will be pursued under the auspices of the Edinburgh Communities Climate Action Forum in the coming months.