Modern houses require a fraction of the heating energy used by poorly insulated housing stock, but at the current rate of house building (less than 0.1% of housing stock per annum), replacement of poor housing stock will take over 1000 years, so refurbishment of existing homes seems likely. We should be aiming for over half a million retrofits each year.
The 'Green Deal', hopes to encourage home owners to reduce carbon emissions cost effectively by funding energy saving projects. An upfront survey needs to be paid for, but the main project funding is paid for through the electricity bill (max £10,000). The repayments should be offset by the savings made from the energy efficiency measures installed.