11 February 2011

North Tyneside terrace uses Thermos flask tech to lead the way in energy efficiency

A Newcastle-upon-Tyne-based housing group has achieved an 80% reduction in fuel bills for a 1900s-built terrace house, with technology based on the humble Thermos flask!

Isos Housing Group, which manages nearly 12,000 homes across the North East, has unveiled an ambitious £120,000 property retrofit, which could offer a breakthrough in reducing UK carbon emissions.

By using vacuum insulation panel (VIP) technology in the walls, floors and doors – a foil-wrapped panel method widely used in thermos flasks and fridge doors already – along with the addition of solar panels, a combined boiler and air-source heat pump to heat water, the work is reckoned to save the North-Shields family who live there an amazing £4 in every £5 that was previously being spent on energy bills.

A touch screen ‘Envirologic’ control panel set into the kitchen wall brings together and controls the house system, which also benefits from free electricity during daylight hours from the photovoltaic panels on the roof.

The £120,000 retrofit was funded by the Government’s Technology Strategy Board through its £16m Retrofit for the Future competition.

The energy efficiency of the country’s existing housing stock, which accounts for nearly 30% of the UK’s total carbon emissions, has long been a major concern for environmentalists. With around 400,000 terraced houses across the North East of England alone, finding a cost-effective way to retrofit them for energy efficient living is a big prize.

You can read about the project in depth here

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