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Why does reducing thermal waste in all domestic buildings by 50% by 2050 have no apparent impact on oil use

In the 2050 Calculator, in the baseline year of 2007, oil-fired boilers account for 4% of heating technologies.

If the user of the 2050 Calculator reduces thermal waste in domestic buildings using the “home insulation” lever, this reduces oil use in the years 2010- 2045 (the 2050 Calculator assumes that oil boilers will be phased out by 2050). A 50% average reduction in thermal leakiness reduces oil use by around 0.3 - 1.3 TWh per year over the 2010 to 2045 period.

This reduction in oil use does feed through into the graphs in the 2050 Calculator Webtool and spreadsheet but it is not noticeable for two reasons:

  1. The 2050 Calculator assumes that oil boilers will be phased out by 2050. Therefore, a reduction in the thermal waste of domestic buildings of 50% by 2050 will have no impact on oil use in 2050 in the 2050 Calculator; and
  1. The reduction in oil use is small relative to the total oil use.

Energy supplied by oil and petroleum products is given in row 43 in the spreadsheet in the “Intermediate output” worksheet. The spreadsheet can be accessed here: http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/tackling/2050/calculator_exc/calculator_exc.aspx