It was good to see that the extensive work that the Labour led Exeter City Council has been doing to address fuel poverty and carbon reduction within the city has been noted. As it states in the article, under Labour’s leadership, the City Council has been working to build super energy efficient homes and other buildings which reduce the ongoing use of carbon in the city since 2009.

Exeter’s Labour Party has been delivering against its green agenda for well over a decade. From environmentally friendly buildings, extensive solar panel installations, protection of the valley parks, extensive tree planting, the planned solar farm and much more. We are keen to play our part in meeting the challenges ahead in the Roadmap to Net Zero Carbon by 2030.

The latest super energy efficient homes to be built by Labours Exeter City Council
The latest super energy efficient homes to be built by Labours Exeter City Council

This week an article in the Guardian recognised the value of super energy efficient buildings we have constructed over the last decade. It said that:

“….it has been the landlords with a long-term interest in the wellbeing of their tenants, and the longevity of their building stock, who are forging ahead with low-energy housing. Exeter city council, for example, has been quietly building zero-carbon homes for the last decade, with more than 200 council houses built so far to the exacting Passivhaus low-energy standard, and 500 more (super energy efficient homes) in the pipeline.”

“We were originally driven by trying to address fuel poverty,” says Emma Osmundsen, Director of the Exeter City Council’s housing company, Exeter City Living. “Not many people were talking about climate change in 2009, when we built our first three Passivhaus homes, so we became a kind of accidental pioneer.”

The council is now on the seventh generation of its low-energy house design, which it has honed over the years to make it as “idiot-proof” as possible, says Osmundsen. Rather than timber frame, they use clay blocks that slot together like Lego bricks and contain a honeycomb of air pockets, negating the need for additional insulation. The homes are so thermally efficient that 60% of the tenants haven’t had to switch on their heating at all – some for more than 12 years.

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