Support 100 years of independent journalism.

  1. Chart of the Day
13 September 2022updated 14 Sep 2022 10:04am

UK homes are the least insulated in Western Europe

British houses were found to lose an average of 3°C every five hours.

By Nick Ferris

Summer is drawing to a close and the grim reality of surging energy prices will soon become clear as British households have to turn on their central heating. Liz Truss’s energy plan will go some way towards protecting consumers, but the new price cap, under which a typical household would have to pay no more than £2,500 a year, is still more than twice the rate when caps were first introduced in 2019. 

As the price of energy increases, so too will energy savings from insulation measures such as cavity wall insulation, double glazing and loft insulation. Unfortunately for UK residents, our homes are the least well-insulated in western Europe.


With an indoor temperature of 20°C and an outside temperature of 0°C, UK homes lose an average of 3°C every five hours, according to a September 2022 analysis from the think tank the Institute for Government. This is worse than all the western European countries, with a range of climates, represented in the think tank's survey. 

As recently as ten years ago the UK was managing more than two million installations of loft and cavity wall insulation a year. But a string of policy decisions over the past decade – including David Cameron’s drive in 2013 to “cut the green crap” – have left the UK far behind in the race to make our buildings more energy efficient. 

Select and enter your email address Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. A weekly newsletter helping you fit together the pieces of the global economic slowdown. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s weekly environment email on the politics, business and culture of the climate and nature crises - in your inbox every Thursday. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A newsletter showcasing the finest writing from the ideas section and the NS archive, covering political ideas, philosophy, criticism and intellectual history - sent every Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
  • Administration / Office
  • Arts and Culture
  • Board Member
  • Business / Corporate Services
  • Client / Customer Services
  • Communications
  • Construction, Works, Engineering
  • Education, Curriculum and Teaching
  • Environment, Conservation and NRM
  • Facility / Grounds Management and Maintenance
  • Finance Management
  • Health - Medical and Nursing Management
  • HR, Training and Organisational Development
  • Information and Communications Technology
  • Information Services, Statistics, Records, Archives
  • Infrastructure Management - Transport, Utilities
  • Legal Officers and Practitioners
  • Librarians and Library Management
  • Management
  • Marketing
  • OH&S, Risk Management
  • Operations Management
  • Planning, Policy, Strategy
  • Printing, Design, Publishing, Web
  • Projects, Programs and Advisors
  • Property, Assets and Fleet Management
  • Public Relations and Media
  • Purchasing and Procurement
  • Quality Management
  • Science and Technical Research and Development
  • Security and Law Enforcement
  • Service Delivery
  • Sport and Recreation
  • Travel, Accommodation, Tourism
  • Wellbeing, Community / Social Services
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy
THANK YOU

Content from our partners
How industry is key for net zero
How to ensure net zero brings good growth and green jobs
Flooding is a major risk for our homes
Topics in this article: , ,