Why implementing updated EPC standards on appliances will improve life in the UK
During this era of inflation, electricity and gas bills are shooting up which is causing people in some unfortunate cases to have to choose between petrol or heating. This strain will be inevitably reduced as we enter into the summer months since there will be no need for higher heating levels. However, what is to stop this happening again next winter? Currently there are only subsidies to the people who are struggling the most, but it could be possible to reduce the strain on the general public while not increasing government spending too significantly. If we implement an updated energy performance certificate (EPC) standard to normal household appliances or even electrical items we could see a drastic reduction in energy usage and Co2 emissions. This links to there being an improvement of life in the uk as we will see people being able to retain more money from their salary to use on what they want instead of just spending their money on the essentials.
We already have a standard EPC rating on rental properties and new builds which are coming in at an E rating which is still fairly low however if that is extended to normal electrical items, or even household appliances which currently I believe aren’t (to this level) we could drastically reduce Co2 emissions in homes and even help reduce peoples energy bills which will improve the life of the general public in the UK.
For general appliances, the energy reduction will in turn reduce energy bills and let the general public keep that little bit more money in their pocket to use on paying off their mortgage for example. A government document published in 2014 titled* “Energy efficient products- helping us cut energy use” stated “European Union–wide (EU) standards and energy labels are making the appliances we buy for our homes more energy efficient … The Government has estimated that by 2020, the annual net savings to the UK economy resulting from these standards and labels will be in excess of £850 million per year, with reductions in greenhouse gas emissions of more than 7 million tonnes per year.” If these predictions were correct then using the recent 2021 census data, we can see that the number of households in the UK is 24,782,800,** so we could have seen an average of £34***per household in savings.
Now for the Co2. A 7 million tonne reduction is roughly what 850,000**** homes emit annually. Now imagine if we increase the EPC standard rating even further; we could drastically increase that number to larger amounts, and the best part of all is that we will also be getting closer to our bid for net zero by 2050.
Now that we are no longer part of the EU and the fact that this legislation is almost 9 years old we could become a world leader in efficiency standards. Which means we on average will have lower bills to pay which will cause more money to be circulated into businesses and industry which will eventually have a positive impact on the economy. This also means that we would be able to reach that net zero by 2050 target sooner and this action could be followed by other nations.
Conclusively, we are able to improve life in the UK through an EPC standard of appliances and electrical items. The general public are going to be able to save some money and the Co2 emissions reduced per year will be taken well by the public through the ever more popular switch to sustainability that people want. The equivalent of 850,000 homes worth of carbon being stopped from entering the atmosphere is going to reduce pollution and the public will be able to enjoy the outdoors even more (with some more money in their pockets).
*document located on gov website
** data was pre-rounded to nearest 100, could not be totally accurate
***850000000/24,782,800 gives around 34 pounds
****7,000,000/8.1 (8.1 tonnes if Co2 is apparently avg per uk household)