October 28, 2011

Better to Insulate Old Homes than to Increase Regulations for New Homes

"Greater return on investment in insulation will be found by focusing on refurbishment of existing, poorly-performing homes than on increases in new build regulation."

From the 2007 thesis "What are the Financial- and Carbon-optimal Points for Return on Investment inInsulation?" by Jamie Bull, University of East London.

The work "examines whether it is worthwhile to continue lowering the elemental U-values demanded by Building Regulations in light of the diminishing returns found when increasing insulation thickness.... Key results are that the carbon-optimal point is far beyond the financial-optimal point for all materials assessed. The carbon-optimal point is also beyond the requirements of Building Regulations. However the financially-optimal point (before accounting for co-benefits) is below Building Regulations. Therefore it is found that, at the margins, super-insulation is an expensive way of reducing lifetime CO2 emissions."

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