Report shows households how to slash energy bills

An innovative project run by Transition West Bridgford, Nottingham called HOMES BEHAVING BADLY (HOBBs) has produced a report that shows householders how to slash energy bills.

Eco champions and SuperHomers Dr Tina Holt, Penney Poyzer and Gil Schalom ran the HOBBS project to help householders become their own energy experts. The aim of the project was to produce an in-depth report to help people living in a range of homes to cut energy bills and reduce carbon emissions.

The team, who are all national experts in different aspects of household sustainability, won a £40,000 bid through the Local Energy Assessment Fund (LEAF), run by The Energy Saving Trust on behalf of the Department of Energy and Climate Change. The Fund which closed after two rounds, financed projects that help communities to become more energy efficient and to take up renewable energy technologies.

Dr Holt, the sustainability consultant who led the project said, “Whether your house is eco-fabulous or an energy guzzler, our report shows how you can achieve savings now. We have tried to provide a step by step guide to becoming an energy expert in your own home – and how to achieve the biggest savings possible for you. The great news is that you don’t have to wait to save energy, everyone can start now. It is about what you can do that matters – not what you can’t.”

Dr Holt went on to say, “What we have done is to take 8 real life case studies across a range of typical homes of differing ages and construction types, where the owners have taken different routes to making their homes more energy efficient. By using a comparison of energy saving measures and behaviour together with modelled and actual energy use we were able to show exactly where energy savings had already been made – and what further measures could be taken.”

The team certainly know what they are talking about. Dr Holt and her partner Richard – with the help of Gil Schalom – are transforming their own 1950s home into a paragon of good behaviour. Once complete, their retrofitted property will use 85% less energy than before. Penney and Gil’s house, the pioneering Nottingham Ecohome, was the first Victorian house in the UK to be given a radical energy makeover. Their efforts saw their CO2 emissions slashed from 19 tonnes down to less than 1 tonne.

Gil Schalom, who is an architect specialising in ultra low energy design and energy modelling said, “Whether people want to make basic improvements or if they have more ambitious plans, it is really important to everyone that they make the most of their money. The HOBBs report is a really good place to start because it showcases real life homes, real costs and tried and tested solutions.”

The HOBBS report is now available as a free download.