energy sustainability

Visit a superhome this month

When looking at household CO2 emissions, our homes are the single biggest factor. Energy use around the home is the largest slice of our carbon footprints, with heating particularly important. It’s why insulation and household efficiency are such priorities in addressing our emissions.

superhomesWe know the basics – loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, double or triple glazing, draft proofing. If you’ve got the money, solar panels or solar hot water are a useful addition. But what if you want to go further? Or what if you have an old house that’s proving to be a bit of a problem?

Superhomes is a network of households that have refitted their houses to the highest levels of efficiency. (You have to have cut fossil fuel use by 60% before you can join.) So far there are 180 homes on the list, and in September they open their doors to visitors who want to find out how they did it.

Find one near you, sign up for an open house event, and you’ll be able to tour the property and ask questions. It’s a great opportunity to learn from people who have pioneered new efficiency measures, and to inspire each of us to reduce our own emissions.

If there isn’t an open house near you that looks anything like your own property, have a look at the ‘video flythroughs‘ on the website. There’s a good selection, whether your home is Victorian terrace, 1950s semi-detached or something more unusual. And, if you live in a retrofitted ecohome yourself and would be willing to show others around, get in touch with Superhomes. They’re aiming to get 500 households involved and would welcome new members.


    1. Yes, although most of us don’t have prairies to work with! If we’re looking for something we can do ourselves, getting our homes in order is the place to start.

      Savory’s ideas are very innovative, but they aren’t scientifically proven as yet. I’ll be watching with interest though – I hope he’s right.

  1. I can’t help worrying that savoury is pedalling yet another false hope of a silver bullet, which only distracts from the real business of leaving fossil fuels in the ground. The UK has a leaky, old, and laughably inefficient housing stock which costs us a fortune to run and accounts for around a quarter of our national greenhouse gases. Superhomes looks like a practical and hugely beneficial step forwards to me. Thanks for highlighting it Jeremy.

    1. That’s the key thing – not stopping everything else and investing everything in one idea to save us, whether that’s Savory’s, or nuclear, or algae biofuels or whatever. We have to keep working at the obvious stuff, the efficiency gains and reducing our use of fossil fuels. If the technological cavalry comes riding in, that’s great, but we have to act as if it isn’t going to.

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