THE Government has committed to reducing all carbon emissions by 80% by 2050 and it is estimated that housing in the UK accounts for 27% of all carbon emissions.
Housing research and development organisation NHBC Foundation and the Zero Carbon Hub, has charted the energy savings that could potentially be achieved from living in different types of energy-efficient new homes following its UK-wide research into consumer attitudes towards zero-carbon homes.
The interesting results from this research compares the indicative energy consumption of today’s “upgraded” Victorian homes versus new homes built to 2010 requirements. It concludes that annual savings on running a house could be up to 55% spending on gas and electricity living in today’s new homes.
And, looking to the future, annual savings could be around £1,875 (79%) in 2016, when further Government zero-carbon home construction targets come into effect. One of our own winners at our 2012 Awards last week, Gentoo Group, has built 28 revolutionary, low-energy homes using the highly efficient German PassivHaus standard.
Their development is a guiding light for reduced carbon-emission homes in the UK as the first scheme to seek PassivHaus accreditation and the largest of its kind in the country, and we are also proud it is setting the standard for innovation in the North East.
PassivHaus homes ...
Incorporate features that enhance the health and wellbeing of constructors, occupiers and the wider community.
Champion best practice in sustainable design, construction and living.
Incorporate products and processes that reduce environmental impact.
Adapt positively to climate change.
Have significantly lower running costs for the customer.
Have excellent indoor air quality and sound insulation as well as thermal efficiency.
Through high levels of air tightness and insulation together with low-energy demand these homes are estimated to have an annual energy bill for heating and hot water for as little as £68. The NHBC Foundation’s report looked at what people think about these new types of energy-efficient homes, and what factors would influence them in terms of deciding to live in one.
Household energy usage is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions in the UK, and will continue to be for the foreseeable future, but the design of new homes means they are much more efficient than older stock.
Therefore, I think consumers need to be better informed about the substantial cost savings they could benefit from by living in an energy-efficient home before they are likely to want to live in one. These new homes are beneficial for both people and the planet.
For information on Constructing Excellence in the North East, contact Catriona Lingwood, on 0191 374 0233 or firstname.lastname@example.org.