Friends of the Earth - How climate friendly is your area?

Wonder if anyone has any thoughts about this part of the FoE report under the heading Housing? I always get worried when I see talk of insulation without ventilation, and talk of eco-heating without reference to insulation. Not to mention use of the term ‘well insulated’! Seeing lots of ads on facebook at the moment from companies ‘giving away free heat pumps’ and claiming it can save householders money.

Only 46% of homes are well insulated in Manchester.6 This represents a shocking and avoidable waste of energy, high greenhouse gas emissions and high energy bills. 16% of households in the area are in fuel poverty, which means they can’t afford to heat their homes properly.7 Poor insulation worsens this problem. If COVID-19 social distancing measures mean more people need to spend more time at home in the winter, the number of people in fuel poverty will increase, hitting the poorest hardest.

Upgrading the insulation of 13,767 homes per year in Manchester will ensure all homes are properly insulated by 2030. All homes should be at least Energy Performance Certificate C-rated by 2030.

We also need to switch from gas central heating, which is a major source of greenhouse gas emissions, to eco-heating (like heat pumps) powered by renewable energy. The government provides grants for installing eco-heating. There are only 196 government-funded eco-heating systems in Manchester, yet the UK needs to fit around 1 million per year. A fair share for Manchester would mean fitting 8,975 eco-heating systems every year.8

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Hi Sian, this is really interesting stuff. Sorry to dodge the question, but I’m going to share this with Greater Manchester Housing Action Network as they will want to lobby on this point too, but from a renter rights and housing justice angle. It is a scandalous and perilous application of the term ‘well insulated’ and I think worth writing into their press team to feedback or even flagging via Ali Abbas at Manchester FoE and he can feedback too.

Also @andyham might have some views on the free heat pumps racket :confused:

From the latest edition of Clean Slate magazine (Centre for Alternative Technology)