Creating the UK’s first low carbon town will involve making around 40,000 existing homes in South Wales much more energy efficient. (For comparison, the population of Farnham is only 37,000 people.)
It is part of a much bigger plan to make the entire region one of the UK’s most efficient low carbon zones.
The 15 year Low Carbon Zone project aims to assess 65,000 homes for energy efficiency potential and then to improve energy efficiency in 40,000 of these homes. 500 homes have been targeted for the first year and the aim is to install renewable energy systems for 300 of them. These will include low energy street lights, solar thermal hot water heating systems, smart meters, solar panels producing electricity and air-source heat pumps (which work like a fridge in reverse — pumping heat taken from the outside air and putting it inside the houses).
The 15 year project has been funded by the Welsh Assembly Government and utility companies to a total cost of around £80m. (That’s only £2,000 per household.)
The result will be not only energy savings, CO2 savings and energy bill savings but also new jobs, a hub of renewable energy businesses and expertise to attract future inward investment, and the reduction of child poverty.
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.”
Doncha just wish they’d do the same thing in Farnham?