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Insulate, then generate: energy strategy should put efficiency first, says NFRC

by Catherine Oxley | Apr 26, 2022

In response to the government’s British energy security strategy, James Talman, CEO of NFRC (National Federation of Roofing Contractors), said:

‘We are pleased to see the government’s plans to increase solar capacity across the UK, with expectations that deployment will increase fivefold by 2035. We encourage the government to capitalise on the many acres of industrial flat roof space across the country for the situation of panels, rather than using solar ‘farms’ on land that would otherwise be useful for agricultural or other purposes.

He added:

‘The elephant in the room is that the strategy lacks new provision to improve energy efficiency. Reducing demand is a quick win: the first step to meet the UK’s needs should be improving the energy efficiency of our buildings through properly insulating roofs and walls. Fitting a roof with solar panels is an excellent way to provide a source of power for business premises and homes, but if the building is heated yet poorly insulated, a proportion will be lost straight away. Investing in generating more power holds less weight if a substantial proportion of it will be immediately—avoidably—wasted.

He concluded:

‘The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee has said that improving the energy efficiency of the entire UK building stock is a national infrastructure priority and should be recognised as such by the government. Let’s focus on energy efficiency in conjunction with efforts to generate green energy, so that what we generate doesn’t go to waste.’

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