Want to make your house carbon neutral – or at least less of an environmental disaster? Manchester’s Carbon Co-op can help! With draughty homes now contributing to 14% of the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions, a new wave of eco-refurbs is slowly rising up to change that.

Carbon Co-op is an energy service and advocacy co-operative that helps people and communities to make the radical reductions in home carbon emissions necessary to avoid runaway climate change. See how much of this greenhouse gas your house creates and explore these three ways to cut back your emissions.

1. Calculate your home’s emissions

Every time we turn on the TV, crank up the heating or drive a car – we are burning fossil fuels that release carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. You can actually calculate how many tons of CO2 you produce in a year by visiting an online carbon calculator which will generate a result based on your house’s information. This may include the size of your property, the number of people who live there, your vehicles, and your energy bills.

2. Use your energy more efficiently

There are many ways you can use your energy more efficiently at home but we’ll give you the most common and most practical ways to do so. This includes: choosing energy-efficient appliances, installing a low-flow showerhead to use less hot water, use a clothesline instead of a dryer, turn off electronic devices when you’re not using them, only run your dishwasher when there’s a full load, buy locally grown foods to save fuel, avoid heavily packaged products – the list can and does go on.

By taking active measures to reduce your personal impact at home, you can lower your emissions and drastically reduce your energy bills. It’s a win-win – so why not save some money as you save the planet at the same time?

3. Retrofitting

When thinking about lowering your carbon emissions, it’s always good to keep in mind the energy hierarchy: energy conservation above energy efficiency above renewable energy. Manchester’s Carbon Co-op is sticking to that hierarchy and has recently launched its People Powered Retrofit (PPR) project which is all to do with retrofitting homes and training up contractors to be able to continue the work to help conserve energy.

This type of retrofitting is effectively based on insulating and warming draughty homes. With a warmer home, you burn fewer fossil fuels to keep it heated, therefore you considerably lower your carbon emissions and your home will eventually have less impact on the environment for future generations.

Demand for these upgraded and low-carbon homes is already outweighing the supply in Greater Manchester but Andy Burnham has combated this by setting up a retrofitting task force and announced a £1.1 million funding to train at least 1,140 people in retrofitting at the new Retrofit Skills Hub. This radically new way of reducing carbon emissions is a brilliant first step in moving towards a greener and happier carbon-city region.

Wed 15 Sep
Rhiannon Ingle
Published on:
Wed 15 Sep 2021