Open Space Meeting Report: Energy Efficiency

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This was a very rambly discussion and it touched on a lot of points and came to few conclusions

  • the Energy Saving Trust EST gives advice on energy efficiency in the home
    • but it is not always easy to understand
  • home improvements such as insulation involves hassle and investment
    • a limited budget can be a big barrier to installing improvements
    • limited spare time is also a barrier
    • may involve significant internal rearrangements e.g. for boiler siting
      • and wall thickness if you do not have cavity walls which is common in Cambridge in older houses
    • people who do not have the time or skill to do it themselves need to hire someone to do it
      • more expensive
      • needs to be someone they can trust - how do we know who to trust?
      • could we get cheaper assistance e.g. from apprentices at CRC?
    • there is lots of information available but not always easy to understand
    • it would be helpful to be able to share experiences with other people in similar situations
    • residents associations might be able to help - often there are whole streets of similar houses
      • can copy solutions from one to the other
  • heating
    • insulation really helps but see above
    • housing associations limit flexibility in e.g. choice of fuel
      • but they often have similar houses
  • water
    • solar thermal heating is an option at least in summer
    • can we use less hot water? (our parents did not shower or bathe nearly so much as we do)
    • water softeners can make a difference in hard water areas as otherwise e.g. kettle furring reduces efficiency
  • appliances
    • it is difficult to keep track of the energy use of appliances without e.g. a smart meter
    • do people really check ratings before they buy a product - the ratings should be more prominent

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Transition Cambridge aims to help Cambridge make the transition to ways of life that are more resilient in the face of rising energy prices and a changing climate.

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