In a world of jargon and acronyms, sometimes we just need things explained to us simply.
Below is a glossary of some of the terms and products involved in the Retrofit project. You can find a full list of industry acronyms here.
A programme funded by the Welsh Government. Its purpose is to help homes become more environmentally friendly – or ‘greener’ – by paying for improvements to be made.
Retrofitting involves installing new technology into homes to make them greener. It’s ‘retro’ because we are removing older equipment, such as gas boilers, that are worse for the environment than our alternatives, such as heat pumps. Homes are then ‘fit’ with measures such as insulation and Solar Panels to improve their performance.
The Capture Survey
This is a survey that needs to be completed in your home to figure out where it can be improved. Our programme is not a one-size-fits-all process. There will be certain features we can install in your home that would not work in the house down the road.
In The Home
Fabric refers to the structural elements of a building, its walls, floors, roof and ceilings, windows and doors, and chimneys. Fabric measures can include better insulation for external, internal and loft areas in the home – some of these small changes can make a big difference to how your home uses energy to heat it.
Having better home insulation means stopping heat from leaving your home. There are materials that stop your home from losing heat, meaning you use less energy to keep your home warm, or cool. These can be double-glazed windows or insulation materials for your walls.
In this context, home ventilation refers to the exchange of indoor and outdoor air. Without proper ventilation, an insulated home may seal in moisture or harmful gases. There are ways we can improve your home ventilation, such as installing fans.
The tech refers to the addition of systems and equipment that can help your home generate and use its own energy in a more sustainable and environmentally friendly way. Together these measures ensure your home is fit for a greener future.
The Sero BEE (Building Energy Engine or Intelligent Energy System, IES)
A piece of technology that collects data about your electricity and gas usage. It then compares this usage against the conditions in your home. With this data the IES can figure out the best way to heat/power your home effectively, using the least amount of energy possible.
This is a system, rather than a device, made up of a variety of sensors and meters. We will always ask your permission to access the data on the system, this data will then be used to help us to help you save even more energy in your home.
A smart meter will replace your current gas and electricity meter. It is a box that measures and displays how much gas and electricity you’re using and how much it is costing you. It automatically sends these numbers to your energy supplier. This means you will no longer receive estimated bills – instead your bills will be accurately based on your actual energy usage.
Solar Panels (Photovoltaics, PV)
Solar panels are a way of creating energy from the sun. It is a panel, which can be put on the roof of your house, that absorbs the sun’s rays and converts it into energy to heat and power your home. More information on Solar Panels (PV) can be found here.
Smart Hot Water Tank
A new technology to replace your water tank. These smart tanks heat water up to five times faster than a normal tank and will only heat up the water which will be used. This means you will use less energy when using hot water.
Your battery will store the energy generated in your home by the new technology installed, it can store energy you don’t need so you can use it later. For instance, if you generate lots of energy through your solar panels when it’s sunny, the battery stores your energy for you to use when the sun isn’t shining.
A heat pump is a sustainable alternative to a gas boiler. It captures heat from outside and moves it into your home using electricity.
‘Air source heat pump’. These collect heat energy from the air outside. It does not need to be hot outside for this to work – it will still work in our miserable(ish!) British winter.
‘Ground source heat pump’. These collect heat energy from the water in the underground pipes beneath your home.
The Planet – The Buzz Words!
Using less energy to perform the same task.
Taking lightbulbs as an example, you have two lightbulbs, they are both giving out the same amount of light, but one is using less energy than the other to do so – one is an LED lightbulb the other a standard 40Watt. The LED lightbulb is more energy efficient as it takes less energy for it to light up your room.
A change to the planet's climate – changes to the Earth's temperature, even by 1 degree can cause catastrophic, irreversible damage.
Human activity is causing our climate to change. Global temperatures are going up, causing the ice to melt which in turn is rising sea levels.
Is defined as a situation in which urgent action is required to reduce or halt climate change and avoid potentially irreversible environmental damage resulting from it. It is the need to act now to make sure we protect our plant for future generations.
It is an emergency, because scientists agree that if we do not act to change our behaviour soon, we will permanently damage the planet.
Natural fuel, such as coal or gas. They are ‘fossil’ fuels because they are made up from the remains of livings things over billions of years.
This is the energy source we need to move away from. There is not enough to sustain human existence forever. Plus, burning these fuels releases the harmful gases, such as Co2 (see below), that are causing temperatures to rise.
This is what is causing temperatures to rise, and we are the main contributors to it being released into our environment.
‘Co2’ refers to ‘carbon dioxide’, a gas that is emitted when we use the most common types of energy. Lots of things emit Co2 – cars, planes, factories – and of course, our homes. What we want to do is limit the Co2 emissions coming from your home.
These are sources of energy that, unlike fossil fuels, have an unlimited supply – meaning they are ‘renewable.’ For instance, solar (from the sun), wind, or hydro (from rushing water).
Creating this energy does not release gasses into the environment.
Being Net Zero is about keeping things in balance. Cutting out the bad things (like, carbon and harmful gasses) that we put into our atmosphere and increasing the amount of good stuff – like green energy, green transport, and green spaces we use to help remove and limit the bad stuff in our air. Changing the way in which we power our homes can help, together taking little steps to make big changes.
Decarbonisation is the term used for removal or reduction of carbon dioxide (CO2) output into the atmosphere (much of the gasses released from your home and from the burning of fossil fuels to provide energy for your home is CO2). Decarbonisation is achieved by switching to usage of low carbon energy sources.