dave.timms's blog

A low carbon home is hard to find: here's why

Flats with double glazing in Camden, London

Just one in four househunters in the private rented sector get access to important energy efficiency information when they choose a new home, according to government estimates revealed in a freedom of information request by 10:10.

Under European law passed in 2008, the energy ratings you see on new lightbulbs, TVs and fridges should also apply to homes or commercial buildings when they are rented or sold.

The response to our freedom of information request estimates that a quarter of private rental homes and less than half of commercial properties on the market had an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) when they were sold or let. EPCs show  the current energy usage of the building, and tips on how to improve it. The outlook is much better outside the rental sector, however – 95% of homes for sale are thought to meet the law.

The future's bright for community energy

Great news: renewable energy projects developed by businesses, communities, farmers and the public sector now have enough combined generating capacity to power four million households (just over 4.7 gigawatts).

SmartestEnergy report that these projects, which range from community wind turbines to onsite generation facilities at major manufacturing plants, are now generating £768m worth of electricity a year.

The best bit is that these figures don’t even include smaller community and household schemes below 50 kilowatts, such as those being installed by housing associations or our own Solar Schools scheme – so the real picture is bigger still.

And this is just the start. Recent polling for the Institution of Mechanical Engineers showed that a third of us would consider personally investing in small-scale community renewables like wind farms, solar arrays or small-scale biomass plants. So far so good.

Syndicate content