Tuesday, October 28, 2014

Victoria's Green Matters - 23rd October 2014

Deal With IT's Secretary Victoria Nicholls writes a regular column in the East Kent Mercury:

Our society here in the developed world is a very wasteful one. Not only do we waste food and other resources, we waste energy too. Much of this waste is caused by our ancient housing stock from which so much heat energy is lost through lack of insulation in its various forms.

Anew housing project, first trialled in Holland, is set to be funded by the European Union (EU) if it approves of this innovative scheme to wrap houses in insulation.

Houses are fitted with insulated panel facades that snap on like Lego; insulated roofs are fitted with solar panels. Heat pumps, hot water tanks and ventilation units are also included. People living in social housing in Amsterdam liken the effect to living in a tea cosy, so much warmer are their homes. All tenants in a housing block must agree to the renovations for the scheme to go ahead and new kitchens and bathrooms have been added as an incentive. Housing associations recoup the cost of the scheme by charging the tenants the same rent and energy costs as before the renovations.

Pilot projects are due to start before the end of the year on council estates and housing association properties in Birmingham, London and southern England and this is expected to save 1,950 gigawatt hours (GWh) of electricity as homes will be zero energy.

Europe’s carbon dioxide emissions from heating and lighting of buildings makes up about 40% of the total so limiting this is vital to tackle global warming. Victoria Nicholls.

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