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Transformers, but with your house!

By Paul Robinson - 10 Oct 2014 8:34:0 GMT
Transformers, but with your house!

A former ministry in The Hague was the site for a celebratory balloon release on September 29th – in the form of a house; Balloon house image; Credit: © Energiesprong

The Netherlands have exported their unlikely substitute for building energy efficient houses. Instead of that expense, they take old houses and coat them with insulation and solar panels! The concept is hardly original but if industry takes to it, what can you do? Net Zero Energy has now transferred its refurbishments to 2 neighbouring countries at least, after a successful and quick 4-year surge of acceptance in the Netherlands. Energiesprong (Energy Spring) negotiates with housing associations, local councils (council estates, often called social housing), and builders and has achieved deals for at least 100,000 homes in each country. The biggest attraction, as the name “Net Zero” implies, is the carbon neutral retrofit.

The parent company claim great ambition for that Zero Energy places them above similar companies. With a cost higher than current energy bills, the idea is that as energy costs rise, the protagonists can all save money in time. Performance guarantees persuade house owners, who all have to agree before a building can be transformed. It’s the IKEA kitchens, fridges, electric cooking and bathroom refits that help in that argument with thee hausfrau. The great volume of demand has managed to attract builders’ investment in the idea. Financiers also seem strangely inclined to offer help too, so there’s gold in them thar buildings!

Naturally, governments are attracted to the political achievement of greater energy savings nationally. 40% of European carbon emissions derive from heating and lighting in buildings and this renovation can make old housing(99% of the buildings standing) produce the net zero emissions necessary in new-builds. Most maintenance (for 40 years) is normally included in the costs of refurbishing, so the political gain could be lengthy, if the deal lasts as long as the house. Remember that the housing situations chosen may include housing stock, such as 50-year-old buildings that would need massive maintenance anyway. Private housing is less popular at the moment, but the deal obviously works for them too.

If the wind used to blow through their windows and doors, some of the “converted” tenants have commented in the UK that their new home insulates like a tea cosy! If you don’t know what that is, just imagine ---. In Holland, the retrofit can take as little as 10 days. EU money is given out for French and English projects, again using that old housing stock. From London to Lille, the outlook for these houses is bright and green. While social banks have been financing the projects in the Netherlands, high street banks will probably now be involved. Tenants pay their old energy bills and rent, until the bill is paid, so all seem to end up happy.

Your future is here, housing tenants, so get the neighbours to agree and get in there! The translated source from Energiesprong is found as- Energy Springs the Housing Market. (Didn't work, so we suggest you try this Google search instead.PRESS Translate this page UNLESS YOU ARE DUTCH!)

The green roof argument for Poland here, or in traditional Norway is a true alternative to all of this solar power and insulation in Don’t Lose Your Lid.