With repeated calls from the government to reduce carbon emissions in order to meet targets established for the future, the construction industry has become a focus for introducing and implementing new methods of technology in an effort to reduce the country’s carbon footprint.
In a statement published by Liberal Democrat Voice, Energy Secretary Ed Davey indicates that the government has ‘tripled the investment available for low-carbon energy generation to £7.6 billion’ and highlighted the government’s introduction of the Green Deal which ‘looks set to transform the energy efficiency of people’s homes.’
The government’s Green Deal was established with the intention of reducing existing carbon levels by 80% by 2050 through improving the energy efficiency of homes and buildings throughout the UK.
Speaking to Cut the Carbon, Mr Davey highlights the importance of training construction workers in modern methods of technology and installation which will increase the energy efficiency of new and existing buildings. He emphasised the importance of renewable heat; especially heat generated through ground-source pumps. Installation into residential properties can save UK families a huge amount of money and prepares traditional homes for the renewable energy demands of the future.
A recent government report suggested that given that ‘three quarters of the homes which will exist in 2050 have already been built, the key challenge to the industry and Government is the existing stock’. This suggests that the improvement of existing homes is vital to meeting reduced emission targets. More information on the government’s plans to reduce carbon levels in construction can be found in the full report published by the Innovation and Growth Team.
The Gentoo Group, based in Sunderland, Tyne and Wear has expressed a commitment to reducing carbon levels in the construction of new homes in the North East, in addition to the group’s £396 million modernisation plan across existing properties in the North East.
The group were recognised by the Building Excellence Awards 2013 for their outstanding and innovative standards of construction and design. In addition to building homes using more efficient and sustainable material, the group continues to install energy saving methods such as cavity wall and loft installation, and triple glazed windows to older properties in the region.
Maintenance such as a cavity wall installation and newer, efficient boilers is also having a positive impact on the financial status of North East families. According to the Energy Saving Trust, a typical home can save around £300 per year on bills with additions like cavity wall insulation. Ian Porter, managing director of Gentoo Sunderland, had emphasised the groups desire to help individuals reduce their household bills by offering homes that are energy efficient and help people save money, adding that this is especially relevant in the current economic climate.
Gentoo’s efforts have also led to a relationship between the group and utility provider, EDF Energy, which has also established its intention to reduce carbon emissions and individual spending. As part of the governments Community Energy Saving Programme (CESP), EDF embarked on a three year programme to deliver energy saving measures to its customers. The utility providers has recently announced that it has met all of the targets that were set as part of this programme.