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Don’t misjudge costs, benefits of efficiency: report

renovationThe UK could cut carbon emissions by 80 percent by mid-century if it refurbished up to 2 million non-domestic buildings with poor energy efficiency, according to a new report prepared for Irish construction products manufacturer Kingspan.

The report, prepared by Caleb Management Services, says the government should make better use of the energy hierarchy framework (Trias Energetica), scale up funding for refurbishments, concentrate on “tried-and-tested” technologies and place a “high priority on the energy security and employment potential of buildings.”

“Now is the time to accelerate the refurbishment of non-domestic buildings,” the report’s summary concludes. “A survey for the World Business Council for Sustainable Development shows that buildings professionals in Europe and other parts of the world routinely misjudge the costs (and) benefits of energy efficient buildings. They seriously over-estimate the cost of achieving energy efficiency and underestimate the potential to reduce emissions. The cost of completing energy efficiency refurbishments is often lower than estimated by building professionals, building owners (and) users — particularly if done on a ‘whole building’ basis. Meanwhile the climate, energy security and employment benefits of accelerated refurbishment are significant and increasingly important for the country as a whole.”

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