National Contact Points
Germany National Contact for
Greece National Contact for
Slovenia National Contact for
Italy National Contact for
France National Contact for
Ireland National Contact for
Belgium National Contact for
Poland National Contact for
Austria National Contact for
Bulgaria National Contact for
Czech Republic National Contact for
Czech Republic
Denmark National Contact for
Spain National Contact for

GB Great Britain / England - Scenario Results and Monitoring Approaches

National Contact Point

Information about national activities: National Contact Point Great Britain/England

Identifying the Best Typologies for Refurbishment

Last updated: 30.05.2016


Scale No. of dwellings No. of buildings No. of inhabitants m² reference area
National ~ 22.7 million ~ 21 million ~ 54 million 2.1 x 109 million (floor area)

Based on 2012 figures from the English Housing Survey


Description of the action

UK Government targets aim to reduce national greenhouse gas emissions (from all uses) by 80 % by 2050 when compared to the position in 1990. Progress towards this target has already been made in the housing stock through improvements in energy efficiency. The average SAP rating (energy efficiency based on fuel costs) has risen, and CO2 emissions have fallen. Significant further improvements, however, are required in the housing stock to meet the 2050 targets.

The results of the analysis of possible future energy efficiency scenarios for English housing are presented in the English Pilot Project report in terms of CO2 and energy use. English Housing Survey (EHS) data from 2012 is used to calculate the potential for the installation of a number of energy efficiency improvements, and these improvements are applied in four scenarios representing 2050. The modelling which these scenarios are based on is the BRE Domestic Energy Model (BREDEM) and its derivative the UK Standard Assessment Procedure (SAP). Other factors such as population and emission factor changes have also been taken into account. Finally a modelled–to-real ratio has been calculated and applied to the scenarios to adjust notional emissions to be closer to the actual emissions.

Base modelling of the 2012 EHS data gave total CO2 emissions to be 124Mt/year, this equates to approximately 5,700 kg of CO2 per household per year in England in 2012. Applying a modest improvement package lowered the CO2 emissions by 34 % from 1990 levels. Two moderately ambitious scenarios both gave savings of approximately 50% from the baseline 1990 figure. The targets for 2050 are only met by the most ambitious scenario which saves 88% from 1990 levels.

In order to achieve the improvements to the residential stock required for the most ambitious scenario, increases in the number of improvements to the stock and changes to the market for measures such as solid wall insulation, heat pumps and alternative energy sources such as PV will be required. Increases to the rates of installation of these measures will be needed rapidly in order to meet the target required in the relatively short timescale.  It is possible that current rates of loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and double glazing will be sufficient if implementation of these measures continues to be encouraged by government incentives and legislation. Rapid increases in the number of other measures installed alongside these mainstream measures, such as solid wall insulation and heat pumps, are however essential to meet the overall targets.

Greater potential for savings exist in the single family homes and terraced homes, reflecting their prevalence in the stock, their current large contribution to CO2 emissions, and greater potential to install a greater range of measures.


The English Housing Survey.  Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), 2014.

English Housing Survey Headline Report 2012-13. Department of Communities and Local Government (DCLG), 2014.

The Standard Assessment Procedure for the Energy Rating of Dwellings (SAP). 2009 edition, v9.90. DECC/BRE, 2011.

BREDEM 2012 – A technical description of the BRE Domestic Energy Model. Henderson J. & Hart, J., 2015. Last updated January 2015.

Last updated: 19.10.2015

Responsible for the content of this page: 
BRE - Building Research Establishment Ltd 
(contact information)