December 14, 2015
With the COP21 talks in Paris recently coming to an end, the public opinion has never been so focused on the impact of global warming and possible solutions to it. Following the historic event, every country will be adopting a different approach to cutting CO2 emissions in the decades to come. Commitments mostly depend on a country’s means, energy needs and natural resources, with Europe being among the most ambitious areas for what concerns promised emission cuts.
It goes without saying that much will be expected of European – and British – citizens to meet the desired targets. Adopting a climate-conscious approach to your daily life is surely part of the game, but you should know that some choices matter more than others.
Given that residential emissions – estimated at 89.9 million tonnes in 2010 – account for more than passenger cars (68 million tonnes) and every other sector apart from power stations, it makes sense to reduce first and foremost your household’s carbon footprint.
So what better time to start thinking of cutting-edge technologies to curb your household’s impact on the environment? The three following options are ideal long-term investments, helping you make your property greener as well as more marketable.
Save Energy with Home Automation
Google-owned Nest has been earning praise in tech industry for a few years now. New features and releases keep coming up, making the third generation of this learning thermostat one of the most fascinating and stress-free options to make your heating system energy efficient.
With a sensor capable of adapting your heating schedule to your daily activities and even detect when you’re about to leave your home, Nest helps you save up to 10-12 percent on your energy bills. The overall impact on the environment goes even further: Nest has saved 4 billion kWh in the US alone since 2011.
Install Electrochromic Windows
There’s nothing new about solar panels, now a quite common features in many residential areas around Europe. Going more unnoticed, however, is a slightly different approach to solar energy, yet one that is equally smart and disruptive.
We’re talking about electrochromic windows, which can have a huge impact in countries with hotter climates. Easily activated remotely or with a switch, electrochromic windows quickly become darker, reflecting up to 98 percent of the solar light hitting them and preventing the room from getting too hot or too cold.
Electrochromic windows are expected to become the most effective alternative to air conditioning: 100 of these windows consume just as little energy as a common light bulb.
Make Your Home Energy Positive
If you are looking for long-term solutions, the adoption of one single technology is unlikely to solve all of your house’s efficiency issues. That’s why a more holistic and forward-thinking approach is necessary. Set to become the most innovative housing solution on the property market for the years to come, energy positive houses produce more energy than they use, even turning into a source of profit for the owner.
This is mostly thanks to a combination of state-of-the-art-insulation, clever room planning and some of the most advanced solar panels of the market. Energy positive houses were first developed in Australia among hopes that all of the country’s houses will be energy positive by 2040.
In the UK they were introduced as recently as July 2015, with a house in Wales requiring £125,000 investment and inspiring more similar projects around the country.
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