How green is your house?
From the outside, there are few signs that Penney Poyzer's red-brick
Victorian house is any different from its neighbours. But the modest
house on the outskirts of Nottingham, Britain represents the cutting
edge of environmental living.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, each home in Britain creates
about six tonnes of CO2 a year - more
than is produced by the average
car. When Ms Poyzer and her husband Gil Schalom bought their home eight
years ago, they were determined to prove that even a draughty (letting
in air) pile built more than a century ago could be transformed into a
model for eco-efficiency.
After a 60,000 Sterling Pounds refit, the house's toilets flush with
rainwater, the kitchen was built from yoghurt pots, and the walls are
insulated with newspapers. Even the doorbell has its own solar panel.
In a typical home, 20 per cent of all heat lost is through leaky
windows, but Ms Poyzer installed triple glazing and gave her home a
"duvet" of polystyrene cladding.
Walls and floors were insulated with old newspapers and wool.
Lighting is provided by hyper-efficient LED bulbs, similar to those
recently installed at 10 Downing Street (the British Prime Minister's
Showers are heated by solar panels when it's sunny, while a
wood-burning boiler kicks in on cloudy days.
Since May, the Government has pledged 4.2 m Sterling Pounds to help
homeowners install wind turbines, solar panels and other
"micro-generation" technologies. Dave Timms, from Friends of the Earth,
said: "Everyone wants to help tackle climate change, but many people
can't even afford basic energy-saving measures such as loft insulation,
let alone solar panels.
The Government must get stuck in by taxing polluting activities, and
giving tax breaks and grants to help us all go green".
The Independent on Sunday