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HOMES & ENERGY

Buildings account for nearly 40% of energy consumption and emissions in the UK, predominantly through demand for heating and hot water. Kicking off in 2021, we will be launching our Homes & Energy project. We will be bringing experts together for an initial collaborative session in the spring (Covid restrictions pending).  The aim will be to identify the changes the community wants to make to our homes and other buildings, and what support and projects are required to help reach the goal of Watlington becoming carbon neutral by

2030.

If you would like to be involved, please register your interest now!

The Home & Energy project might include some of the following areas.

 

CLIMATE CHANGE AND HOUSING

The impact homes and other buildings have on climate change is high, around 40% of energy use and emissions. Much of this energy use is for heating and hot water, services which are not easy to decarbonise in existing buildings. This area will focus on energy use, building standards and technologies, as well as how we can make efforts to reduce the impact climate change has on our homes, especially overheating risks.

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RETROFITTING AND BUILDING SERVICES

Most homes that will be here in 2050 have already been built (more than 80% by some estimates in the whole of the UK), so the key the challenge is less on standards of new homes, and more on how we upgrade existing homes to reduce their energy use and mitigate climate change impacts. There are a large number of historic buildings in Watlington, but modern homes will also need upgrades to perform as needed in the future. This will be a key focus of our Homes & Energy project.

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RENEWABLES

There is a wide variety of increasingly cheap renewables technology available, and we will explore the suitability for solar PV’s, solar thermal, wind power and community energy generation in the H&E project. Community-led initiatives such as Solar Streets can also be a cost-effective approach to implementing renewables at scale across the community. Building services such as MVHR, heat pumps and battery storage will also be explored, and advice will be available for individuals and community groups.

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REDUCING ENERGY DEMAND

Watlington Climate Action Group’s key aim is to support the town to become carbon neutral by 2030. With homes being a key contributor, we will look to measure their current carbon impact, help the community develop reasonable targets, and create the means to achieve them. Patterns of home use and our own habits will be key to making changes in this area, e.g. heating use in winter, the need (or not!) for cooling in summer, or switching your energy supplier to one which uses only renewables.

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We will expand or amend this list as the H&E project is scoped. If you have specific expertise in any of the areas above and would be happy to share it with our group (in the kick-off meeting, or on a longer-term basis), we would welcome your contribution.