With the average temperature recorded at just 2.2C by the Met Office last month, it’s no surprise that many of us have found ourselves reaching for an extra layer or two. Grabbing a scarf or warm beanie before our daily exercise has become second nature, and our faithful duvets have needed help in the shape of a blanket or two. Heating systems may have been cranked up to the max; and as many of us are staying home under the current rules and plenty of us are working from home, there seems to be little relief for our pockets when it comes to rising energy bills.
And who can blame us for wanting to stay warm? This January has felt colder than usual because it has been. The Met office recorded it as the coldest January since 2010. During winter, gas and electricity consumption is generally 36% higher than during the summer months. Working from home has the potential to inflate this figure even more. According to an article found on this ismoney.co.uk, working from home could cost an extra £21 per household each day between October 2020 and March 2021.
What about Fuel Poverty?
Fuel poverty relates to households that must spend a large percentage of their income to keep their homes at a reasonable temperature. The number of households in England that are deemed to be fuel poor are estimated to be around 10%, with the individual estimates for Scotland, Wales and Northern Ireland somewhat higher.
Hoping to help alleviate fuel poverty, Emma Osmundsen, while at Exeter City Council, began developing homes to Passivhaus standard across the Exeter area. This has meant that many council homes over the last ten years, have been designed and built to Passivhaus Standards. These homes are built to be hugely economical and fuel efficient, which is good news for both the environment and for those living in them. In fact, 60% of all public housing designed to Passivhaus standards, have never had to turn their heating systems on.
Homes are comfortable and energy-efficient which results in a saving on energy bills. They are so well insulated that the energy derived from five candles, or a small animal, is enough to keep the home at a comfortable temperature. The insulation also means that homes are healthier, with clean air being filtered through to create an ideal environment in which to live.
Imagine not having to turn your heating on at all this winter? Imagine not having to pull on an extra duvet, or having to crank up the central heating? In an Exeter City Living home, there’s no longer the need to imagine as this is very much a reality.