Zero Carbon Cumbria - Carbon reduction action across the county.


Richard – clean power at home

Meet Richard from penrith.

Richard installed a smart home system to generate his own energy and manage how it’s used.

What’s this about?

Richard wanted to reduce the energy consumption and carbon footprint of his Penrith home while also lowering his monthly bills.

What did Richard do?

He installed solar panels, a domestic battery, a smart hot water tank and a smart electric vehicle charger. This combination of clean technologies means Richard can make the most of the energy he generates. The energy can be used to run the house, generate hot water and charge the car. He also makes use of “time of use” tariffs that provide access to cheap energy overnight, which can be stored for the daytime.

What difference has it made to Richard?

The opportunity to “grow his own” energy has allowed him to be largely self-sufficient for a significant part of the year. It has also made him much more aware of the energy he uses, appreciative of the value of the energy the system generates and therefore much less wasteful. At a time of escalating energy prices, this has resulted in a dramatic reduction in energy costs.

He says that having the flexibility to decide how to use your energy is great, too. Making significant journeys in an electric vehicle that’s been powered by solar energy captured by your roof is particularly enjoyable, as is the ability to turn it into hot water. These help to translate the power you generate into something more tangible.

What difference has it made to the climate?

The energy used to power homes is one of the main sources of carbon emissions. Richard’s main motivation for installing the smart home energy system was to reduce his carbon footprint.

Richard estimates that his 4.7kW solar PV array alone saves around 1.4 tonnes of greenhouse gas emissions per year. This is largely because it has enabled him to move away from using gas for cooking or heating water.

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