Is Going Green a Distant Dream?
Housing accounts for almost one third of all CO2 emissions from the UK, from the gas we use to heat our water to the electricity we use to light our homes.
It would therefore seem vital to try to reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we continuously pump into the atmosphere. And the Government’s Green Deal and Zero Carbon Policy promised to do just that.
The Green Deal gave UK homeowners and businesses the opportunity to make their properties more energy efficient. Property owners could apply for a loan to carry out improvements such as cavity wall insulation, upgraded boilers and double glazing. Provided the expected energy savings of these improvements outweighed the cost of providing them, the government gave a loan for the work to be carried out.
The Zero Carbon policy promised that all new homes built from 2016 would generate as much energy from renewable sources as possible, reducing not only carbon emissions but energy bills too. We were set to see the likes of more wind turbines and solar panels, both great environmentally friendly ways to efficiently fuel the hot water, heating and lighting in our homes.
Disappointingly, in 2015, the Conservative government abandoned not only the Green Deal, but also all plans to ensure all new UK homes be carbon neutral from 2016. This decision to backtrack on the 2006 Zero Carbon policy triggered huge criticism from environmentalists and planners alike. As a result of the scrapping of this policy, new home builders now have no real incentive to construct energy efficient properties.
The elimination of these policies certainly feels like a step backwards, rather than a step forward. And as Greenpeace UK’s Daisy Sands said, ‘Energy-wasting homes mean higher bills, increased dependence on gas imports from countries like Russia and more climate-harming emissions’.
So, are energy efficient homes really just a distant dream?
With progress seriously stalling in our bid to become an energy efficient nation, we could be forgiven for thinking that all previous environmental efforts have been wasted. However, ministers are currently putting together a new Clean Growth plan.
The Clean Growth plan is massively important to the building industry and addresses the UK’s obligation, under the Climate Change Act, to more than halve emissions by 2032. One of the recommended aims of the plan is the reinstating that all new homes be zero carbon by 2020.
The Energy Saving Trust argue that a policy for ‘2050-ready’ new build homes should be instated. These ‘2050-ready’ new homes would be highly energy efficient, with high levels of insulation, low water demand and built with renewable energy sources installed or connected. This sounds like an admirable aim. After all, it’s never been more important to minimise waste and maximize efficiency.
Helping the green dream
How can you do your bit to help reduce CO2 emissions?
Installing a tracker in your company vehicles, alongside the implementation of a vehicle environmental policy, will raise your drivers’ awareness of the ecological consequences of their behaviour on the road.
A tracking system will help you to ensure your vehicles are being driven in the most environmentally friendly way possible, thanks to 24 hour GPS monitoring.
You’ll be able to make sure your drivers don’t waste fuel or employ bad driving habits that will cause excess wear and tear on parts — saving the environment and saving you money too.
If you are interested in doing your bit to help the green dream, talk with one of our helpful team, on 0161 476 4050 to discuss how a Phantom tracking system can help to maximise your company’s energy and financial efficiency.