Making homes better insulated and using renewable energy to power them could mean people are living longer.

That is the conclusion of a new study which finds that net zero policies such as home isolation, if introduced successfully, would significantly reduce the death rate in England and Wales by 2050.

the government net zero strategypublished in 2021, sets a course to reach net zero greenhouse gas emissions by the middle of this century.

Researchers said an additional two million years of life would be added across the population by 2050, if the Balanced Path plan — cutting emissions by 60% by 2035 — is implemented.

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The study looked at six net-zero policies—arguing that retrofitting homes with insulation would be the most effective, leading to an additional 836,000 population years by mid-century.

Modeling suggested that switching to renewable energy to power homes was the second most effective policy, resulting in an additional 657,000 years over the same period.

Modifying homes to make them more energy efficient and reduce consumption and emissions will mean properties get warmer in the winter, the researchers said.

They argued that as long as there was adequate ventilation, people would be exposed to less pollution produced indoors, such as particulate matter and radon.

Radon is a naturally occurring radioactive gas that comes from the decay of uranium in rocks and soil, and it can seep from the ground and enter homes through the ground.

The researchers stressed that without additional ventilation, indoor pollution can build up inside the property, which is harmful to people’s overall health.

window installation

Retrofitting can include insulating roofs, walls, and floors; Replacing windows, improving ventilation design, air sealing, and more efficient heating and heating systems.

Going forward, those behind the study claimed that it may underestimate the health benefits of net-zero policies, since they did not model all of the potential health benefits of implementing the policies.

The peer-reviewed study was published in The Lancet Planetary Health.

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