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28 November 2022

The UK has the least insulated homes in Western Europe

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

By Nick Ferris

This article was originally published on 13 September. It has been republished in light of the news today (28 November) that the UK government will spend an extra £1bn on insulating the UK’s least energy efficient homes.

Temperatures are dropping, the days are getting shorter and winter is setting in across Europe. 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. 

[See also: The verdict on the government's new home insulation scheme]

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