On the 12 May 2021, WCAG welcomed Kate Brown, a local expert in sustainable
buildings, to talk about the built environment, the interrelation between housing and
climate, and what changes we can make to future-proof our homes.
This was a presentation full of detail with some notable highlights about the global and
national picture for homes and energy, and the importance of living within our means:-
The UK is only halfway to its target of net zero by 2050
Globally, pledged targets are not enough to limit warming to the targeted 1.5 degrees, so the COP26 Climate Conference in Glasgow will be calling for greater commitments
Buildings make a major contribution to emissions and we have to build buildings that benefit people, and reduce climate impact and environmental degradation
Heating, floods, droughts and wildfires mean we need to adapt our buildings for climate risks
The majority of energy used in homes is for heating and hot water, so we must work to reduce energy demand (and therefore emissions)
The greatest challenge is that 80% of houses that will exist in 2050 have already been built, so the majority of improvements will need to be retrofitting of existing homes. A three-step approach should be used: reduce demand, electrify as much as possible with efficient systems, utilise renewable energy.
At a local level, 37% of Watlington’s carbon footprint is due to homes.
WCAG will be addressing the issues around homes & energy in Watlington by:-
Implementing a household survey requesting information about types of energy, energy suppliers, energy demand and other factors
Creating a Knowledge Hub for residents to access information, advice, research and government schemes
Promoting an Events Calendar 2021 including talks on water conservation, energy suppliers and home retrofitting
Supporting community energy initiatives including solar schools, solar streets and electric vehicle charging
To watch the full presentation, visit the WCAG YouTube page. And to find out more about
how WCAG are helping residents reduce the carbon footprint of their homes, visit the
WCAG Facebook page.