What's in the news: Dutch energy-saving housing
The city of Nottingham has become the first council to adopt a new housing initiative known as 'Energiesprong' after the local authority won £5m from the EU’s Regional Development Fund.
Energiesprong is an energy efficient initiative transforming old homes by radically upgrading their energy efficiency. First adopted in homes in the Netherlands, Dutch not-for-profit company Energiesprong fits properties with carbon-neutral upgrades in a bid to reduce energy bills and improve the green status of social housing. The initiative involves wrapping a property completely in lego-like click-on panels. Insulated roofs, energy-efficient solar panels, ventilation units, hot water storage tanks and ventilation units are just some of the upgrades made to such homes; making them warmer, more soundproof and of course - cheaper to run.
This is a positive step for social housing and can help to improve the insulation of older houses which perhaps don't hold heat in as efficiently as new builds. A simple solution that can help social housing in the masses, this initiative is great for improving energy performance.
The UK is currently one of the countries with the least energy efficient housing in Europe. Employing such a programme in a greater number of homes across the UK could drastically reduce the UK's carbon emissions and gas demand. With more than 11 million homes in the UK potentially suitable for the programme, we could see this becoming a transformative solution to improving our individual and collective green footprints as well as reducing costs.
Tenants in Nottingham who piloted the scheme and who received new wall cladding, windows and solar panels have already have seen their energy bills drop by around £60-70.
Of course, initial costs of such improvements are steep at around £85,000 per property, which is expected to reduce to around £62,000 at a later time. Although the initial costs are high, reductions in energy costs, advances in comfort, warmth and the overall improvement in the look of the properties might make people reconsider their opinions on the costs.
Do you think these schemes are a step in the right direction?
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