Recent events have highlighted the folly of over-reliance on imported oil and gas.

However, it’s important that we don’t lose sight of this knowledge so that it disappears once priorities change, like a passing fad. A long-term commitment to a transition away from fossil fuels is necessary.

More than half of the UK’s energy is consumed by heating buildings, while electricity consumption, by comparison, represents only about 20 per cent of total energy demand. This is why many European countries have been introducing increasingly stringent building codes to improve energy efficiency standards.

For example, since 2019 Ireland has mandated that all newly built homes must meet the European Union’s near-zero emissions building standards. This means new homes are highly energy efficient, thanks to high levels of insulation, improved air tightness, good use of natural light and energy-efficient appliances.

It’s worth noting that the UK had similar plans under the previous Labour government, which were scrapped by the Tories in 2015 on the grounds of cost. However, this was a very short-sighted move, as such costs tend to be offset by the lower energy bills over the building’s life, plus the associated construction costs have fallen, while heating costs have risen sharply.

Read more: TheScotsman

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