A group of us have been tracking weekly meter readings on the Oxford University www.imeasure.org.uk website, and via a Carbon Club, comparing readings. It doesn’t look good for me in the wintertime !!
Theresa has a 1930s house with a new Woodburner, and solar panels. So her gas consumption is tiny and often negative.
- Simon apparently does not let his family use the heating. He is considering a woodburner.
- Harriet has a smallish victorian semi-detatched house, with solar thermal.
- Treesplant (Gary) has a semi-detatched 1950s house
- and I’m (Andy) doing worst, with a larger 1920s detatched house, but I am insulating.
What has it taught us ? Well for me (Andy), if I have lots of Transition meetings, then the heat generated might offset the need for gas. Not sure that works because people chat at the door. I have been around and reassessed the significant draughts, and have secondary glazing on many windows. The quote to double glaze is very high cost, and I really dont want to replace the original wooden windows with UPVC. Underfloor insulation (low-lying with damp suspended floorboards) is my next big project, but it is too cold to contemplate right now, and I have too much stuff to raise floorboards easily. Would love to build a porch too, but the aesthetics are a problem. Interestingly, the summertime consumption has plummetted to lower than anyone else. Can’t explain except that perhaps the fridge doesn’t have to work so hard.
Harriet intends to improve her insulation, she. plans a new (draught-proof) front door, solar thermal panel and (soonish) woodburner.
The peaks of use correspond with the coldest weather, and we have had a bitter winter this year. In our January meeting, Andrew suggested that much of the housing stock in the UK is inadequate to cope with climate change. Bricks and mortar will just crumble, especially on newer houses. We need to adopt building materials and strategies that the Scandanavians have long practiced. Wood, Glass and Steel. Can we retrofit sufficient insulation and weatherproofing to the existing housing stock in the UK ? Are we prepared to do it with our own homes ?
Will try and update the graph now and again.
Excerpt from their website : The Environmental Change Institute at the University of Oxford have created the free on-line home energy monitoring website at http://www.imeasure.org.uk/ which they are using to help educate people about home energy use. imeasure is about helping householders track energy use over time (unlike traditional carbon calculators) where users can set up carbon clubs for their own communities. Your group could be your transition town for example and people could compare within the group or with other groups. Would you consider linking our website from your resources page, or including us in your next newsletter? In addition, use of the tool contributes directly to our research in energy and behaviour.
Please feel free to email for further information http://www.eci.ox.ac.uk
If you want to join us in monitoring your gas and electricity usage, sign up at www.imeasure.org.uk to track your own footprint (you can put old readings in if you have them from bills etc), and then if you want to, send Andy an email asking to join our carbon club.