1.4 CarbON NeuTral
Beore considering a carbonoset scheme, ensurethat the oset scheme iscredible, and has undergoneindependent auditing.
Although carbon osetting can provide a wayto assist in balancing the amounts o CO
beingemitted into the atmosphere as a whole, along-term sustainable solution to environmentalproblems requires reductions in the amounto CO
being emitted in our homes andappropriate changes to our liestyles.
BEcoMinG cArBon nEutrAL
The rst step in becoming carbon neutral is toreduce the demand or energy and the amounto CO
being emitted. Ater reductions havebeen made oset credits can be purchasedequivalent to the remaining emissions.Reducing CO
emissions rom our homescan be achieved by adopting many o thetechniques and procedures described in the
Technical Manual, eg.> Reducing the use o electrical appliancesand switching o lights, appliances andequipment at the plug when they are notneeded – especially a second rerigerator.
[See: 6.4 Appliances]
> Selecting smaller energy ecient applianceswith low standby power use and avoidingunnecessary purchases.
[See: 6.4Appliances; 6.10 Home Automation]
> Reducing water use (it takes energy to treatand pump water to a home) and reducinghot water heating by installing water ecientshowerheads, taking shorter showers andusing cold water or washing clothes.
[See: 7.2 Reducing Water Demand]
> Draught-sealing and weather-stripping toreduce unnecessary heat loss and heat gainand setting thermostats appropriately.
[See: 4.7 Insulation]
> Installing curtains and pelmets, external blindsand shading to reduce the need or additionalheating and cooling.
[See: 4.4 Shading]
> Changing the uel source o hot watersystems and home heating. For exampleswitching rom electric hot water systemsto gas or solar hot water systems.
[See: 6.2Heating and Cooling; 6.5 Hot Water Service]
> Improving the energy eciency o the homewhen building, renovating, renting or buyingthrough methods such as:– ensuring eective orientation and layout tomaximise solar-passive strategies
[See: 4.2 Design or Climate]
– adding or increasing insulation
[See: 4.7 Insulation]
– sizing and orientating windowsappropriately
[See: 4.10 Glazing]
– providing double-glazing to windows
[See: 4.10 Glazing]
– using materials that enhance passive solarstrategies
[See: 5.0 Material Use]
> Adopting and developing a zero energy home–
see next section
emissions in our liestyles can beachieved by:> Switching to low greenhouse impact transportoptions like walking, cycling or publictransport – or use the telephone or email.I a car is essential, use a uel-ecient one.> Considering the time and cost o travel romyour home location to work, school, shopsand leisure activities.
[See: 2.6 Transport]
> Diverting ood and garden wastes rom landllto composting – when ood and gardenwastes break down without resh air theycreate a mixture o gases including the verydamaging greenhouse gas, methane.> Purchasing ood, products and other servicesthat have not travelled long distances.> Minimising waste o packaging and materials– ‘reuse, reduce, re-use, recycle’.> Reducing the purchase o non-essentialproducts – ask “do I really need it?”> Holidaying closer to home rather than fyingto distant destinations.
WHAt iS A ZEro EnErGY HoME?
The terms ‘zero energy’, ‘zero carbon’ or ‘zeroemission’ are applied to buildings that userenewable energy sources on-site to generateenergy or their operation, so that over a yearthe net amount o energy generated on-siteequals the net amount o energy required bythe building.For example, a home that uses 5000kWho electricity or a year may incorporatephotovoltaic panels that generate 2160kWho electricity in winter. This may not be enoughelectricity or what is needed during winter, butin summer 2840kWh o electricity could begenerated, which would be more electricity thanis needed at this time. I the combined resulto electricity generated on-site or the year isequal to the amount o energy used or the year(2160 + 2840 = 5000kWh), the building can beconsidered to be zero energy. Nevertheless,it should be noted that in winter the additionalenergy needed would still result in carbondioxide being released to the atmosphereunless it is also sourced rom renewables.Zero energy homes set out to use renewableelectricity generated on-site. Although obtainingelectricity rom the grid through accreditedgreen electricity providers should be used andcould be considered as having net zero CO
emissions, the intention o zero energy homesis that they are relatively sel-contained. Thisprovides occupants with a ull understandingo how much space and cost is required toprovide renewable energy solutions on-site andthe benets o energy eciency.
Stricter defnitions o ‘zeroenergy’ buildings also takeinto account the energy usedin their construction andeventual decommissioning.
– electrical appliances– heating– cooling– hot water
Carbon NeutralCarbon NegativeCarbon Positive
– clean energy(such as:wind power,solar power, etc)
the overall CO
emissions areequal to theoverall CO