Recent studies have shown that increasing energy costs and poorly designed homes could be the reason for a drastic increase in hypothermic episodes in Australia.
Authorities have called for action as socioeconomic factors prove to be a driving factor in patients that presented to hospitals with hypothermic episodes.
A study conducted showed elderly patients living alone with few social supports made up 59% of hypothermic patients, and 71% were on a pension.
It has been shown that pensioners are now opting to wait out the cold weather rather than using heating systems, in order to avoid high energy bills.
Increasing energy costs are not only to blame. Building authorities and industry associations are also calling for a review of building energy standards across Australia, stating that many are not adequately built for thermal comfort.
An analysis by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy named Australia the worst performer in energy efficiency policies and performance for developed countries, with 25 of the world’s largest energy consuming countries examined.
A history of poor energy requirements means that many Australians are now living in homes with poor thermal performance. They are required to use higher amounts of energy to keep warm during winters, and with energy costs increasing, a lot of families can’t afford to continue running these systems.
“Some action has been made towards rectifying the issue, with a recent revision of the way energy ratings are calculated being rolled out in the 2019 National Construction Code in May. However, there is still a long way to go”, commented Kingspan Insulation’s Technical Services Manager, Killian Smith.
“There are ways to address poor thermal performance in existing buildings. Retrofitting insulation to walls, floors, and ceilings can make a big difference in the energy efficiency of your home”, continued Smith.
Kingspan Insulation offer a range of retrofit solutions for homes including their rigid board Kooltherm K17 and K18 Insulated Plasterboard products and their reflective flexible AIR-CELL Permifloor insulation.
“We are seeing an increase of people looking for retrofit product to combat the issue of poorly insulated homes”, commented Kingspan Sales Director, Craig Burr.
“Retrofitting your home is easy, quick, and cost effective. Our rigid board Insulated Plasterboard solutions can be installed directly to existing walls and ceilings with no demolition. It is a popular choice for those looking to boost their home’s energy efficiency”.
“As focus on building energy efficient buildings and the awareness around the benefits of correctly insulating your home increase, we expect to see more people turning to higher performing solutions, especially when it comes to retrofit products”, concluded Burr.
The World’s First Fuel: How Energy Efficiency Is Reshaping Global Energy Systems, is a recent report released by the Energy Efficiency Council in June 2019. It addresses the sub-par policies and procedures of Australia’s building requirements and highlights the actions that need to be taken in order for the country to rectify its poor building standards and the issues that surround them.