Saving the Planet: Saving Money?

This week’s climate conference COP26 in Glasgow has been described as the best chance by global leaders to get runaway climate change under control.

In tonight’s episode, scientist and weather presenter Laura Tobin explores what a carbon-zero Britain will look like and asks what can we all do to save money and save the planet.

Every time we burn fossil fuels it releases greenhouse gases, raising the earth’s temperature. As the government steps up measures to tackle climate change, gas and oil boilers in our homes will be phased out. But the green energy of the future could eventually save us money on our ever increasing bills.

A pioneering project in the town of Seaham in County Durham will be using the natural warmth found in disused coal mines to provide heating and hot water for a new development of 1,500 homes.

The intention Is that the end users would pay less than the equivalent price of gas for their heat. This new type of cleaner, greener heating means the homes will not need any gas supply, and could be completely carbon free. 

The first mine water heated homes in Seaham are due to be ready within the next three years. It’s the first project of its kind in the UK, but other councils are expected to follow.

However, you don’t need to live above a mine to heat your home with energy from the earth. There are air and ground source heat pumps which can be installed, which are expected to have a big role in replacing gas central heating, and reducing harmful carbon emissions.

Ground pumps are typically upwards of £15,000, and you do need a big garden, whilst a slightly cheaper option are air source heat pumps.

The government has announced 450 million pounds of funding to offer £5,000 grants to help households install home heat pumps, and other low-carbon heating systems, over the next three years as part of its plan to cut Britain’s reliance on fossil fuel heating. 

But this equates to ninety thousand heat pumps, which is only a fraction of their target to fit six hundred thousand annually by 2028. 

Huge changes need to be made at national Government level if we want to protect the future of our planet. But as individuals we can still make a difference. And that means our day to day decisions and how we live our lives matters more than ever.

In the programme, Professor Mike Berners-Lee shares his top tips on the ways we can all reduce our carbon footprint.

"Saving the Planet: Saving Money" is on ITV Tonight at 8pm.

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