Benchmark report finds retrofit SuperHomes use 40% less energy
Posted by Anna Carlini on 11 March 2016 at 11:10 am
YouGen’s sister project SuperHomes has triumphed in a recent study which found that SuperHomes use less energy than the average UK house. The main objective of the SuperHomes project is to inspire reductions in carbon emissions: a carbon saving of 60% is a requirement for a house to become a “SuperHome”. But this study reveals that the homes also use 40% less energy per square metre per year than an ordinary house too! SuperHomes are therefore much cheaper to run and have a much smaller impact on the environment than a regular house.
The findings of the study are very encouraging. SuperHomes are older houses which have been refurbished by their owners, delivering radical carbon savings. And despite the fact that their larger floor areas, older age and higher than average occupancies would normally make such homes a lot more expensive to run, overall SuperHomes consume 19% less energy than the average UK home! This is an incredible achievement, and by comparing the figures before and after retrofit, they save an average of 72% in carbon emissions. The most energy-efficient SuperHome in the survey (refurbished to the exacting Passivhaus standard) was found to use just 25kWh/m2 a year, a remarkable 86% less than the national average!
Gabby Mallett, Director of SuperHomes and Households and Communities at the National Energy Foundation, says these findings are even more impressive as “many people assume that a low-carbon home is also a low-energy one. However, this is not necessarily the case… It’s fantastic to discover that many SuperHomes have not only gone much further than a 60% carbon reduction, but they’ve achieved great results on energy too.”
You can find out more results from the study here.
Some of the features that helped achieve these results are renewable energy technology, such as biomass boilers for low carbon heating...
solar PV panels to produce clean electricity...
and high levels of insulation to reduce heat loss...
This study confirms that the techniques and technologies SuperHomers use to improve the efficiency of their homes are delivering real carbon and energy savings. It is an area which sorely needs our attention. In the UK our housing stock is old and not at all energy efficient, with a majority of houses classifying for an energy performance rating of band “D”or lower.  Our houses and buildings are wasting energy and rely heavily on fossil fuels. This study shows that we have the tools and the know-how to transform our ‘leaky’ houses into homes fit for the 21st century. These SuperHome pioneers are blazing a path for the rest of us to learn from. Improving our existing houses is the important next step in reducing our energy consumption and exceeding our carbon reduction targets.
Been inspired? Visit the Superhomes website to find a SuperHome open day near you.Source:  The English Housing Survey 2013-2014 and the Scottish House Conditions Survey 2013.
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