We take a look at the month’s hot topics for the elemental audience.
The energy price cap rise at the beginning of April is, inevitably, the topic driving the majority of conversations within the elemental community. Whether its businesses looking to keep costs down by changing how they run their buildings, or housing providers grappling with a surge in tenants hit by fuel poverty, energy efficiency has never been more important.
This month, we’ve seen the leisure industry warning of swimming pool closures as the total annual energy bill for this sector has risen from £500 million in 2019 to between £1.0 – £1.2 billion for this year, and news that over six million households already owe money to their energy supplier with fuel poverty likely to affect 40% of households in the UK.
Alongside this, we’ve also seen a huge rise in awareness of energy-saving issues, as more building owners are looking at the technologies – and funding – available to heat and run their properties more efficiently.
From the Government, there have been welcome moves to tackle our inefficient buildings and heating systems, including the launch of the Boiler Upgrade System and the cutting of VAT on some energy-efficient technologies, but the feeling is that we need to go much further, much faster, in order to deal with issue, and to really pull together all the technologies – and knowledge – that we already have as an industry to make a real difference.
Every week we hear about innovative projects using products that cut carbon, and energy bills, and, the motivation is there to deliver these at scale, with the right support in place from Government. In a column for The Yorkshire Post, Connect Housing Association’s Martyn Broadest succinctly summarised the thoughts of many, saying: “Retrofitting homes properly is a complex business, but with a coherent and properly funded long-term plan, we can make real inroads into our energy use, create hundreds of thousands of highly skilled well-paid jobs, and help reduce UK carbon emissions by around a quarter in the process.”