UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering


UCL IEDE contributes to the UK Sixth Carbon Budget

4 January 2021

Pylons and cables against sunset

A UCL Institute for Environmental Design and Engineering (IEDE) team lead by Rokia Raslan, with Yair Schwartz and Phil Symonds, were commissioned by the Climate Change Committee (CCC) to review and update assumptions related to energy efficiency measures in homes as part of the evidence base for the recently published UK Sixth Carbon Budget.  The updated assumptions included an increased focus on in-use performance, through the use of in-use measured data from the National Energy Efficiency Data-framework (NEED) alongside the latest evidence published by Government on the costs of measures. Over 150 datasets, studies and published reports were considered in total. The resulting assumptions were used as an input to Element Energy’s analysis ‘Development of trajectories for residential heat decarbonisation to inform the Sixth Carbon Budget’, focusing on existing homes.

Key recommendations from the report include:

  • The most significant energy savings across different types of home are generally associated with wall insulation.
  • While relatively easier to implement, measures such as draught-proofing and hot water tank insulation can collectively achieve considerable savings when combined and implemented properly.
  • The results of an exercise to compare costs and savings assumptions for the Fifth and Sixth Carbon Budgets suggest that estimated savings for solid wall insulation and double glazing have generally reduced, with costs generally identified to be higher for internal wall insulation, floor insulation and double glazing. Despite achieving variable energy savings, costs associated with glazing measures are in some cases comparable to those for the most expensive insulation measures.

The report UK Sixth Carbon Budget & UCL IEDE report can be accessed at: https://www.theccc.org.uk/publication/sixth-carbon-budget/

Image by Ralf Vetterle from Pixabay