“There are still thousands and thousands of households in Pakistan that lack a proper heating system. They are stuck in poverty with no avenues to keep themselves warm, thus leading to poor health. Problems and diseases linked to the cold range from blood pressure increases and common colds, to heart attacks and pneumonia. I am determined to address this.”
Aliza Ayaz is the UK House Of Lords student nominee on Health & Environment. She is coming up with a solution to help Pakistanis save money on their energy bills and make green home improvements.
The UK Green Home Grants
The Green Homes Grant scheme is a £2 billion package to help the UK bounce back from the covid-19 pandemic by saving money, cutting carbon, and creating jobs.
A spokesperson from the UK Government BEIS commented; “The UK Government has committed to introducing a Future Homes Standard by 2025, which includes plans to phase out fossil-fuel heating from all new homes in favour of heat pumps and other low carbon technologies”. Perhaps it’s early to say but could this be the beginning of the end of fossil fuels.
As part of the UK Government’s new Green Homes Grant Scheme, vouchers worth up to £10,000 will be given to homeowners and landlords to make their homes more energy-efficient.
With 10-12% of UK households consistently in fuel poverty, it is no wonder that UK is known as the Cold Man of Europe. Aliza and her colleagues have teamed up with leading manufacturers to have nationwide stock of an extensive range of Insulation products, in line with the Green Homes Grant Scheme.
If you’re a homeower you may be eligible to make improvements to the energy efficiency of your property through the Government’s new Green Homes Grant scheme.
Aliza: “Pakistan can lead the way with sustainable homes. Experts say we are going in the wrong direction. At current rates, it will take 700 years for the UK to move to low-carbon heating! The Green Homes Grant must be the start of a longer-term effort to phase out fossil fuels and we need to do something similar in Pakistan as soon as possible.”
Aliza Ayaz works with a number of Pakistani energy retrofit leaders such as Fiaz Anjum from Work Work Ltd. Aliza notes: “When carrying out improvements under the Green Homes Grant Voucher Scheme, it is crucial to make sure that selected measures are suitable for the property, and that any existing or potential issues such as damp or poor ventilation are dealt with before installation works proceed. It is therefore good to know that vouchers can be used to part pay for works required to ready a property for energy efficiency measure to be installed, including expert damp and structural inspections.”
Aliza: “We are short on money in Pakistan and that is a well-known fact. But a Government Scheme making £50m available to housing landlords to improve energy-efficiency for low-income households could mean that there is more support to upgrade your housing stock and it is a great opportunity to partner with the local Pakistani energy retrofit companies to complete these works.”
Students from Pakistan, UK, Malaysia amongst others are planning integrated workshops with West London Businesses and UK BEIS to offer support on insulation measures with design flexibility, industry leading weather and fire performance, energy cost savings, all covered by 10-year warranty.
Aliza: “In response to the increasing focus on sustainable solutions, in support of the target of net zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2050, we are launching workshops through my organisation the Climate Action Society (CAS). The team at CAS is full of capable and driven students who are continually brainstorming new ideas of spreading the word further and further, then translating this into action.”
The UK is committed to achieving an 80 per cent reduction in carbon emissions by 2050 and to achieve this we will all need to reduce our energy consumption and move towards sustainable, low carbon living. Right now we are seeing the impact that groups such as Climate Action Society are having, led largely by a younger generation, who believe we should be doing much more, much faster. Whether you agree with their direct-action approach or not, there is no doubting their ability to raise awareness and encourage debate on climate change.
So, what can we do, as individuals, about this global problem?
Aliza: “Well, with domestic consumption making up 28% of energy use in 2018 (second only to transportation), our homes are a good place to start. There is much room for improvement. Just 12% of domestic heating comes from renewable sources despite over 1 million Solar Panels (generating both electricity and hot water) having been installed on UK homes to date.”