It's not easy bein' green - the Treehouse edition

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Updated on 19/08/20: Please be advised that we no longer offer the green add ons separately to OVO Beyond. Check out this topic for a guide on how to add OVO Beyond via your online account


Hey Treehouse!

Hope you've enjoyed checking out the new digs.

I posted this in 'The Watering Hole' (the public subforum of the Experience Lab) a few days ago but wanted to post it again here in case you hadn't seen.

In today's current climate (pun intended), a lot of people want to reduce their impact on the environment. We want to find out how you would go about it. If you could do only one of the following things tomorrow, which you would rather do:

A. offset your carbon footprint; or
B. make your house more energy efficient?

And don't forget to explain why!

14 replies

Has to be making the house more efficient.
We already have solar PV, solar thermal, air-source heatpump, condenser/heatpump tumble drier, and as much insulation as we can get into an 1850's farmhouse.
And it's still pretty thermaly inefficient!
I would want to make my house more efficient. I am 70 years old with a very limited income so I really need to be able to buy my power at the lowest possible price and to become much more knowledgeable about saving money. Hints and tips would be much appreciated.
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I have cavity wall insulation, the loft is well lagged and I have double glazing. Not as advanced as Mike2 but we're trying in our 1960s semi.

I don't really understand how we can reduce our carbon footprint - what does this mean in real terms?
Guessing making the house more efficient does both doesn't it ? Would love to see a time when if you commit to an energy provider they re-roof your home with these and install a couple of batteries at the same time -
I think that most people would opt for an improved performance from the house. Though I am interested in carbon footprint
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I have a new-build flat, and it's amazing how efficient a modern house can be - in summer, my gas bill (which heats the shower via combi boiler and supplies the hob) tends to be about £3 or £4 per month excluding standing charges, and I have LED and energy saving bulbs throughout, so electricity bill is pretty low also. Nest thermostat is excellent for making sure heating doesn't come on when I don't intend it to, though if I were to start again, I'd install a system where each individual radiator is controlled by an app.

I've seen the website that Robin mentioned previously for the tesla roof - that sort of thing should be compulsory for new builds. We are definitely going to need more of this sort of thing to power our homes and to recharge our electric cars when they become commonplace.

One thing I've often wondered is what it would cost to provide (possibly free) solar panels for, say 1 million homes and what the output would be, compared to the cost of building and running a new nuclear power station.

One thing I've often wondered is what it would cost to provide (possibly free) solar panels for, say 1 million homes and what the output would be, compared to the cost of building and running a new nuclear power station.

I'd imagine it would be pretty favourable when you look at the price we have agreed for some reason to pay for electricity from the power station currently underway. I seem to remember reading that even wind / sea farms are better value now with power costs estimated at just over half what the government has agreed to pay at the new nuclear plant. I assume that all the electricity firms have to buy at that rate and are not allowed to create their own generating stations ?
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I don't know how I could offset my carbon footprint but would be interested in finding out.
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Hi @Sharon_Treehouse

There's a way you can offset your carbon footprint by buying carbon offsetting certificates from certified carbon-reducing schemes. To cut through he jargon, you basically end up supporting ventures like tropical reforestation.

Would that be something that interested you? Have you taken any measures to reduce your impact on the environment? No pressure or judgment at all if not, just want to get a sense of what our customers are thinking about.

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Really good point @Robin_Treehouse about how making your house more efficient does both!

I guess one option requires a lot more time and effort, not mention cost, and I'm curious if you guys would be interested in something more abstract but easier (like offsetting your carbon footprint by buying carbon offsetting certificates) or something more tangible but harder (like installing insulation, solar panels, etc).
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Hey @Jackie_Treehouse

Really good question. You can reduce your carbon footprint a lot of different ways including buying 100% renewable electricity, by making your house more energy efficient or by purchasing carbon offset certificates (among many other things). Purchasing carbon offset certificates to offset your carbon footprint basically means (my interpretation) that you fund schemes that do things to reduce the CO2 emissions in the atmosphere, like tropical reforestation projects.

It's unfortunately not the most easily understood proposition but it is an easier option than making your house more energy efficient, but would it feel as impactful and as meaningful to you?

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Purchasing carbon offset certificates sounds like passing the buck rather than taking personal responsibility. I think it would work well alongside making your house energy efficient but should not be seen as instead of. All these solutions are like sticking plasters; the fact remains we desperately need to find a solution to using fuel that is damaging the planet. Also they all bear a cost and lots of people just can't afford it.
Could OVO do their bit by selling renewable energy at the same price as customers are currently paying for non-renewable energy?
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Hi Jess,

Thanks for the explanation, it's not something I currently do but is something I could be interested in the future