Case study: An energy saving success

December 17, 2014

Fossil free banks and financial institutions support a diverse array of people and projects that are helping to make our planet more sustainable and a better place to live. This week we’re profiling some of these projects, to demonstrate that where you keep your money can have a real and meaningful impact on what sort of activities get funding from the financial sector, and which don’t.

You can see our guide to some of the best fossil-free options here. Meanwhile, if you haven’t already then put your bank on notice now, and help support the financial institutions that are building a fossil-fuel-free future.

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Andy and Lorna’s story: An energy-saving success

The UK’s homes are some of the least energy efficient in Europe, leaking heat from their doors, walls and windows. If we want to tackle fuel poverty and cut our carbon footprint, we need to stop this needless waste.

Andy, an architect, and Lorna, a charity development manager, wanted to improve the energy efficiency of their home, an old railway cottage in Hereford, as well as creating more space to accommodate their growing family. The original cottage was built by a railway carriage inspector in 1869, with solid brick walls and a slate roof. Before the project, the cottage was cold and draughty, suffered from mould growth, and had high fuel bills and CO2 emissions.

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With a residential mortgage from Ecology, Andy and Lorna added a south facing extension to the property, with large windows to capture solar energy and a new super-insulated hot water cylinder. They added external insulation, triple glazed windows and doors, a ventilation system with heat recovery and a very small, efficient natural gas boiler. The new upstairs windows overlook the extension’s green roofs, planted with a wild flower and meadow mix, and a salvaged railway carriage in the garden that Andy uses as his home office.

As a result, the CO2 emitted per square metre of the building reduced from 55kg per year to 25kg per year. The house is more comfortable and healthy, as well as being more affordable to heat.

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“It was difficult to maintain an even temperature in such a draughty house, and the expenditure of all this energy never resulted in a healthy or comfortable environment! We decided that the time had come for a radical improvement. Thanks to Ecology, we’ve been able to achieve that.” Andy

You can read more about Ecology Building Society here.

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