A third of the money UK householders spend heating their home is being wasted because of poor insulation, a new report has warned.
The research from British Gas has also revealed that London is the worst city in the UK for energy saving, while Hull is the most efficient.
The energy giant has warned that the country will be in danger of missing the UK’s carbon dioxide reduction targets if it relies on making new-build homes eco-friendly.
It says action needs to be taken now to make sure existing homes are more energy efficient.
It has now launched a year long initiative to show what can be done to reduce domestic CO2 emissions.
Eight ‘Green Streets’ across eight major UK cities have been selected and will be given a budget of £30,000 to spend on domestic energy-saving equipment.
This will range from energy efficient light-bulbs, to cavity wall insulation, solar panels and heat pumps.
The ‘Green Streets’ – in Manchester, Leeds, London, Birmingham, Edinburgh, Cardiff, Plymouth and Southampton – will compete against one another to save the most energy.
The homes that drive down their carbon dioxide emissions the most over the course of a year will be awarded £50,000 worth of energy-saving equipment to invest in a local community project.
British Gas Managing Director Phil Bentley said: ‘While strict standards on new build are needed, most of the energy being consumed is in the ageing homes we live in today.
‘It is making changes in these properties that will give us the biggest carbon emission reductions. I am confident that the ‘Green Streets’ campaign will show that simple changes can be made to adapt existing homes to help address this problem.’