Home > Carbon Neutral Homes > The UK's First Low Carbon Town

The UK's First Low Carbon Town

By: Susan Hunt MA - Updated: 9 Sep 2018 | comments*Discuss
 
The Uk's First Low Carbon Town

The UK’s first low carbon town in South Wales was a mammoth undertaking and involved making around 40,000 existing homes much more energy efficient.

The scheme, involving private homes, was set up in the town of Aberdare in the Cynon Valley - once at the heart of iron making and coal mining.

And this ‘green’ project is part of a much more ambitious plan to make the entire region one of the UK’s most efficient low carbon zones.

Initially, 500 homes were targeted and plans for the first year included the installation of 300 renewable energy systems.

Local Support

The driving force behind the larger Low Carbon Zone project was the Heads of the Valleys strategic regeneration programme.

Welsh Assembly Environment Minister, Jane Davidson said: “This town was at the centre of the industrial revolution of the 19th Century, where the exploitation of fossil fuels created the modern world.

“By becoming Wales’s first low carbon town, Aberdare is now at the forefront of bringing about a new way of living within our resources, whilst also ensuring communities and businesses can succeed and grow.”

Objectives

The 15 year Low Carbon Zone project aims to assess 65,000 homes for signs of energy efficiency and the plan is to improve energy efficiency in 40,000 of these homes.

Plans for the first 300 renewable energy systems included:

  • Low energy street lights
  • Solar thermal hot water heating systems
  • Smart meters to encourage people to reduce bills and conserve energy
  • Solar photovoltaic panels to produce energy
  • Air source heat pumps
Energy performance checks ensure each property is given suitable energy saving information and in many homes, heat and electricity will be generated by new micro-CHP (combined heat and power) systems, which should save a family of four almost £250 a year on utility bills.

Contractors involved in the pioneering project received training at the British Gas Green Skills Centre based in Tredegar – the first centre of its kind in the UK.

Verifying Results

Results from the first 500 homes were due to be available after the first year of the project, highlighting the amount of CO2 saved.

The estimated amount of CO2 saved from these first 500 homes alone is expected to be around 1000 tonnes per year but this should rise to 3,000 tonnes per year when the first 1,500 houses are fully converted.

Project Costs

The 15 year project has been funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and private sector utility companies and total costs are expected to reach a staggering £70m to £90m.

However, the project had aims other than purely energy saving. It was also designed to create economic benefits by providing new job opportunities through the creation of a hub of renewable energy businesses in the region.

It is hoped that in the coming years, the valley will become home to the largest concentration of renewable energy businesses in Europe – and ultimately, it could attract inward investment worth tens of million of pounds.

It should also have significant social and environmental benefits, such as lower utility bills for local residents and the reduction of child poverty.

You might also like...
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice..
What is the cost per square ft ( roughly ) at the present time ,and is their a limit on size ?
Lyn - 9-Sep-18 @ 10:41 AM
Share Your Story, Join the Discussion or Seek Advice...
Title:
(never shown)
Firstname:
(never shown)
Surname:
(never shown)
Email:
(never shown)
Nickname:
(shown)
Comment:
Validate:
Enter word:
SEARCH OUR SUSTAINABLE BUILD DIRECTORY...
IN TOWN / POSTCODE:
Topics
Latest Comments
  • SaSha WarLen
    Re: Straw Bale Construction
    Hi All, Here's hoping I'm in the right place! I am looking to build a 3-4 bedroom Straw Bale House approximately 120 square metres…
    2 December 2018
  • Rahi
    Re: New Developments: Environmentally Friendly Concrete
    What is novacem n how can this bring change n be environmental friendly?
    26 November 2018
  • Tommo
    Re: Transport Links to New Build Developments
    Our Council has refused planning permission for a well known developer to build 300 houses on land outside the…
    22 November 2018
  • Colm Breathnach
    Re: Straw Bale Construction
    Hi there, does anyone know of construction grade straw bales for sale, and can they be delivered to us in County Kerry, Ireland?
    16 November 2018
  • Lyn
    Re: Pollution From Construction
    Hi. Good day to the editor of Sustainable Build. Hope you're doing fine. I'm Romalyn. I'm a writer and I’m learning a lot from…
    15 November 2018
  • Chanti
    Re: Financing Your Sustainable Development Project
    Hi I am very keen on building an eco earth home with self sustaining energy and food supply I would like…
    13 November 2018
  • Sarah
    Re: Straw Bale Construction
    Hello, i am planning a simple rectangular strawbale home (2 bed, one bathroom, 2 storey, with one downstairs living/cooking spacd) in…
    9 November 2018
  • DrG
    Re: Grants and Loans for Green Development
    Hi. My wife & I are self building a highly airtight, insulated eco home with GSHP, MVHR, PV solar etc. Can anyone…
    7 November 2018
  • Alessandro Aroni
    Re: Pollution From Construction
    Very useful information, but i would love to know the sources of the pollution rates information, shown at the begining. And what…
    6 November 2018
  • Hudsondorset
    Re: Straw Bale Construction
    I’m a builder with a degree in environmental science & policy, and am highly experienced in sustainable living and building. Our team…
    4 November 2018