- Planning to build a new home or undertake some renovations this year?
- Feel that pang of consciousness that you should be doing something for the environment?
- Get that blank stare from the local yard manager at the builders merchants when you start talking energy rating and environmental impact?
The fact is you are not alone – there is clearly a growing ground swell of opinion that is more open to recognising that in many aspects of our lives we need to be more responsible, from using energy efficient light bulbs to driving more economically and using recyclable containers.
When it comes to the home whilst the ideals may be there the reality is that often a lack of knowledge can leave you wondering if greater insulation is really cost effective and if double glazing is really beneficial, or if a heat pump can really give you a cozy warm glow on a winters night as it can cool your sweating brow in January.
I am pleased to report that there is help at hand – a new company Right House, started up late last year is endeavoring to be the guide and support for homeowners and all parties in the construction industry to better understand energy efficiency and enhanced living environment in the home from the perspective of not just this product or that product. Rather their approach and service is effectively to be able to undertake an audit of our plans and needs and to be able to offer advice and solutions of how the design of your project (full build or renovation) can be enhanced through this solution or another solution. Having provided advice in design solutions they intend to be able to provide you with products and installers to carry through the plans.
Now the interesting thing is that this is not a new government scheme to teach us to be more environmentally aware, this company Right House has been set up by an energy company – Meridian Energy. Now on the face of it that is strange, an energy company trying to help you save energy. The fact is the best people to offer advice and guide us into the future energy sources are energy companies so what at the outset seems odd has the most logic to it.
And if you were wondering about the costs of social responsibility in the form of energy efficiency, I saw an interesting article on their website which speaks to the general misapprehension that building green is way too expensive. The survey carried out by the World Council for Sustainable Development found that whilst the perception is that building green would be at a premium of 17% over conventional construction the real premium was just 5%. The same report also also exposed the alarming statistic that respondents put greenhouse gas emissions by buildings at 19% of world total, whereas in fact is it closer to 40%.
This clearly shows that we need to act in a responsible manner in our new builds, renovations and even DIY to ensure we are doing our bit for the environment.