The UN secretary general, António Guterres, said: “This report is a clarion call to massively fast-track climate efforts by every country and every sector and on every timeframe. Our world needs climate action on all fronts: everything, everywhere, all at once.”
See what Nick and Saffy Wolley’s house looks like now here, with comments from the owners. “An awful lot more detail lies behind the information given, but I hope this may spark some interest!”, adds Nick Wolley.
Inspired by the sustainable, ecologically sound homes at Hockerton Housing Project, Nick and Saffy Wolley met with Simon Tilley and Nick Martin from Hockerton Housing Project to get help with finding the most sustainable way to build their new house.
Their new home, Pilgrim’s Barn, is a super insulated home with very low energy requirements and zero running costs and was completed in late 2022. Featuring floor to ceiling glass on the southern facing elevation, designed to harness passive heat it is a zero carbon performing home in rural Suffolk.
Nick Wolley, the owner, explains: “I have studied this construction since 2005, all originally researched and developed by the great Prof Brenda Vale (respected architect and researcher into the real science of cost-effective super-eco construction). Inevitably, over the ensuing years, various refinements and improvements have been incorporated and ‘smart systems’ added. However, it is hugely reassuring, having built this place as our own home, to find it almost surpasses all that I’d heard it could achieve. So much of it is just plain common-sense, with so many clever, but simple and cost-effective ways of gaining that improved performance and ultra-low-energy requirement. We moved in in October/early November; in the two pre-Christmas freeze (mainly down to -6/7C) our internal air temperature never went below 21C. We had nine of us here over Christmas and post the first freeze and all through the second one, which was also vicious, our air temperature never went below 23C; however, since it was built, apart from testing our underfloor heating for a couple of hours, it has not been switched on neither has it done so in accord with the master-switches.
Our excellent builder had never built such a house before, but he is now totally taken with it and wants to build nothing else, particularly as he now reckons it costs no more to build per sq metre than a conventional house which, looking to the future, will cost a fortune to run. I have to say that the actual cost I’ve paid for Pilgrims, bears this out. This is precisely what our expert, Hockerton advisers assured us; they have themselves proved this, since they built their first set of homes (actually designed for them by Brenda Vale herself) in 1995.
In this blog: Learn how to lower energy consumption and drop fossil fuels- what you can do to cut back on energy consumption and find out what it will take to transition from fossil fuels to a greener, more sustainable type of energy – includes useful advice about energy saving for the home.
Society is in the throes of a climate crisis, which is being exacerbated by our overreliance on fossil fuels to provide us with energy. This has caused a spike in the cost of energy for households across the globe, which threatens to leave a huge portion of the population in poverty. To help combat this, society needs to make a number of changes, both big and small, to address these issues and save our planet from a climate change catastrophe. In this article, we’re going to look at how we can save on energy consumption to save our planet.
There are lots of different strategies households can adopt that help them save money on their energy bills by reducing their overall energy consumption. From simple things like switching your older halogen light bulbs to LED bulbs to finding a more affordable energy provider, it’s often small changes that can make the biggest difference when it comes to the price of powering your home.
Ofgem has an excellent resource that households can use to cut costs on energy bills, so it’s well worth looking into their advice and guidance. You might be eligible for government grants and subsidies which can help offset some of the rising energy costs. They also provide clear advice to help you avoid wasting energy in the home, further reducing your energy bills.
The other side of the climate and energy crisis is a much larger challenge to tackle, which is our reliance on fossil fuels instead of investing in renewable energy sources. This type of change requires large-scale, governmental changes to wean entire industries off their reliance on fossil fuels. Without proper investment in things like solar, tidal and wind energy, there simply won’t be sufficient infrastructure to help these industries transition towards renewable sources of energy.
Unfortunately, the push for cleaner, greener energy sources is hampered by lobbyists and those currently in government who are actively looking for ways to keep fossil fuels viable. We already know from IPCC reports that the current fossil fuel reserves cannot all be used if we are to stay safely within a habitable ecosystem. No government should permit any new exploration as it is a waste of time and money. The reality is that these outdated energy sources simply won’t help our fight against climate change or the energy crisis. You can help make sure the government makes the right decisions by taking action.
The best time to invest in renewable energy was a decade ago, but the next best time is right now. It will take some big changes to move away from fossil fuels, but it’s only a matter of time before it’s no longer economically viable for governments to push the fossil fuel agenda. In the meantime, for the average household, the best thing to do to keep the lights on is to cut back on energy consumption and switch to a greener energy source.
Sustainable living is important in improving the health of the community, reducing carbon emissions and lowering environmental impact. Communities can take certain steps towards living sustainably such as switching to green energy suppliers to meet their electricity needs.
Homes, businesses and communities at large have been investing more and more in ecologically sound and sustainable ways of generating the energy they use. This has resulted in increased use of green energy suppliers to power homes and businesses across the UK.
Why it’s important to live sustainably
Living sustainably plays a significant role in protecting the environment and reducing wastefulness. When communities live sustainably, they reduce their carbon footprint and the number of toxins released into the atmosphere. This improves air quality while minimising air pollution. Sustainable living also helps conserve natural resources, ensuring communities use resources efficiently. This means future generations get to have resources to use to meet their energy needs.
What’s the impact of switching to green energy suppliers?
Switching to a green energy plan means that your energy comes from a low-carbon footprint source like wind and solar. In fact, making the switch to a green energy supply can save at least a tonne of CO2 from penetrating the atmosphere every year. While this amount varies depending on the size and nature of a business or home, green energy sources have an extremely lower carbon footprint, guaranteeing lower environmental impact. If communities switch to green energy power, carbon emissions can reduce by as much as 70% by 2050.
Leading green energy suppliers in the UK
Finding a green energy tariff for your home or business has become easier. There’s a growing list of green energy suppliers offering 100% renewable electricity to meet client energy needs. These include:
Good Energy Limited
What’s the best green energy tariff?
There’s no one-size-fits-all when it comes to green energy supply. What may work for your home or business may not work for another since energy needs vary from person to person. The best green energy tariff for you depends on what metrics are vital to you, such as pricing, guidance and support.
We have been customers of both Good Energy Limited and Ecotricity for many years. Therefore, we can highly recommend them when it comes to green and renewable electricity. Their services are exemplary, and you can rest easy that their energy comes from a renewable source. Below, you’ll find an overview of these two suppliers:
Good Energy Limited
Good Energy Limited is UK’s first ever green energy supply company, bringing renewable electricity to homes, businesses and communities. The company aims to help you live sustainably by providing clean, green energy for daily use.
Ecotricity is a complete vegan energy supplier, providing 100% renewable electricity. The company makes green gas from agricultural waste, ensuring clients get renewable energy from completely plant-based sources.
Ready to get started?
Here is one way to do it. The experts at Switch Plan are happy to help you navigate which green energy suppliers suit your home or business more. Simply give them a call at 0330 818 6223 for guidance and support.
Changes to building regulations will help UK deliver net zero
New homes will have to produce around 30% less CO2
Important step for industry ahead of Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025
New homes and buildings in England will have to produce significantly less CO2 under new rules announced by the government in December 2021 to help the country move towards net zero.
Under the new regulations, CO2 emissions from new build homes must be around 30% lower than current standards and emissions from other new buildings, including offices and shops, must be reduced by 27%.
Heating and powering buildings currently makes up 40% of the UK’s total energy use.
Installing low carbon technology, such as solar panels and heat pumps, and using materials in a more energy efficient way to keep in heat will help cut emissions – lowering the cost of energy bills for families and helping deliver the UK’s climate change ambitions.
All new residential buildings, including homes, care homes, student accommodation and children’s homes, must also be designed to reduce overheating, making sure they are fit for the future and protect the most vulnerable people. Improvements to ventilation will also be introduced to support the safety of residents in newly-built homes and to prevent the spread of airborne viruses in new non-residential buildings.
The changes announced to the government’s Building Regulations, which set the standards in England for the design, construction and alteration of buildings, follow a public consultation and will come into effect from June 2022.
They will raise standards and are an important step towards a cleaner greener built environment, paving the way for the Future Homes and Buildings Standard in 2025, which will mean all future homes are net zero ready and will not need retrofitting.
Housing Minister Eddie Hughes said:
Climate change is the greatest threat we face and we must act to protect our precious planet for future generations.
The government is doing everything it can to deliver net zero and slashing CO2 emissions from homes and buildings is vital to achieving this commitment.
The changes will significantly improve the energy efficiency of the buildings where we live, work and spend our free time and are an important step on our country’s journey towards a cleaner, greener built environment.
Alongside amendments to the Building Regulations, there are 5 new Approved Documents:
There will be a 6 month period before the new regulations come into force on 15 June 2022. Transitional arrangements are in place which mean that if a building notice, initial notice, or full plans for building work are submitted to a local authority before 15 June 2022, then provided the building work commences by 15 June 2023, work on that individual building is permitted to continue under the previous standards.