Home Green Home
Robin Murray, director of RED during the energy project, has been busy. In partnership with lifestyle management service TenUK, the London Bourough of Lewisham and the Mayor of London he's developing a new kind of energy service - one that will help you green your home without the hassle.
Over the coming months the partnership will prototype the Green Homes service with 40 homes in Lewisham. The service includes: a home energy check-up, expert advice, finance, carbon payback grants and a second check-up to help you see what your saving.
If you're thinking of greening your home, and particularly if you live in Lewisham watch this space...the team are looking for people who are interested in participating in the prototype. www.greenhomeslondon.co.uk
Warm Words: How are we telling the climate story and can we tell it better?
by Gill Ereaut and Nat Segnit
The Institute for Public Policy Research publishes research on climate change. The report suggests that communications from government and green groups should treat climate-friendly activity as a brand that can be sold, making it feel natural to the large numbers of people who are currently unengaged with the problem.
Your carbon credit card
Every one in Britain produces too much carbon. The good news is that David Miliband is thinking seriously about Carbon Allowances - issuing individuals with carbon quotas that limit their impact on the environment. RED suggested such a move last year as part of its futurecurrents project.
Carbon Credit Cards
Today David Milliband proposed 'credit cards' to ration individuals carbon usage - as we did in our future currents project. The idea is currently standing third in our list of ten policy recomendations with 329 votes.
Read the full article in the Independant after the jump.
RED energy talk @ Dott Newcastle
Tomorrow for Dott I'll be talking about the RED energy project - the ideas we developed last summer and the energy service that our associate Robin Murray is prototyping with London. Keep up to date with Dott events on the new Dott website.
DESIGNS OF THE TIME (DOTT07): EXPLORERS CLUB
What would it mean, in practical design terms, to make one just one household, in a real place, carbon neutral? We'll discuss this scenario at the next Designs of the Time Explorers Club on 11 July. Many of the greenhouse gas emissions that come from residential households could be reduced if we made our houses more efficient, generated our own energy, switched suppliers, or simply switched off devices. But cumulative energy use is invisible, and alternative energy solutions tend to be offered by multiple, fragmented suppliers. They are therefore hard to procure. The evening will explore the design components of a whole systems solution to this challenge. Leading the discussion will be Chris Vanstone from RED at the Design Council, and Stephen Dormer from the Eaga Group. The event is at the Robert Stephenson Centre in Newcastle, UK. Tickets are free but you need to reserve by emailing Beckie Darlington by the end of this week: firstname.lastname@example.org
Design and the Environment: Future Currents Progress Report May 2006
A business plan has now been produced and finance raised for the prototyping of an environmental 'concierge support service. This builds on the results of the RED Future Currents work, and would offer householders an energy audit, advice on what to do following the audit, help in navigating the multiple websites on available products and technologies, and crucially, options of tried and tested installers to carry out the works. The prototyping will not only test the take up and costs of various elements of the service, but the kind of financial (and design) incentives that would encourage investment.
The initial prototype is scheduled to last for 16 weeks for 40 households, with a second 'proof of concept' stage where the service is scaled up for 5,000 households over 18 months. The first phase will be co-ordinated by the concierge-specialists TenUK, and funded by the GLA and DEFRA. For further details contact RED Associate, Robin Murray.
Some more good tech to make energy use visible - this one a nifty power socket guage.
See the infosthetics blog for detail and more on the power aware cord & standby energy visualization (this one created by ex RED intern Haiyan Zhang).
Energy, IT and Design - Jennie goes to Sweden
On the 17th of January our Senior Design Strategist, Jennie Winhall, will be speaking at the Swedish Energy Council's Energy, IT and Design Conference in Eskilstuna, Sweden. Jennie will talk about design as a means to address social and economic issues using the Future Currents project as a case study. The conference is a collaboration with the Power Unit of the Interactive Institute Sweden (TII) who we have mentioned before on this blog with reference to their Static project. If you are interested in further details for the conference best to email the conference secretary, Lars, who should be able to give details.
A small steering group to carry forward the Future Currents project met at the Energy Savings Trust(EST) on November 21st. It comprised representation from the Energy Savings Trust(EST), London Climate Change Agency (LCCA), and the London Energy Partnership. It was decided to keep the executive group small to facilitate action, but to establish three topic groups to steer the key issues forward:
1. the deep service pilot
2. policy in the context of the Energy Review
3. the home monitoring display concept
So to date:
The EST agreed to fund a short project to produce a business plan and a pilot prospectus by the end of January 2006. It is anticipated that the initial pilot would be in Lewisham, but there is potential in another Energy Action Area of London, or perhaps in North East of England.
Interest in the home monitoring display concept continues to grow. Moore Associates are working on further refinements of their device (as demonstrated during the project) and there has been some discussion with organisations already working on smart metering and similar devices.
In the short term (until March 2006) any specific queries or interest in this work should be directed to Matthew Lockwood at the LCCA, and thereafter via the London Energy Partnership. We will continue to post updates and please do feel free to use the comments section on these posts as a discussion forum.
HOT HOT HOT!
The Hot Products section of the Future Currents website is now complete! Thanks to Ideo, Concrete Blond, More Associates, Conran & Partners and Luckybite and Iogi for their concepts. Have a look.
Today we met with the Power Unit of the Interactive Institute Sweden (TII). They told us how some buses in Sweden run off the methane by-products of slaughterhouses and that having publically voted against Nuclear Power their country is now heavily investigating alternative energy sources.
Their particularly enlightened ministry for energy is investing in several design led projects at TII. We've linked to their Static project before, but you should take another look as it's been updated.
The glowing Power-save cord has been patentent and they are now looking to take it into production.
The Other Energy Blog
During our energy project earlier this year we were used a rather raw blog to collect and share our research amongst the team. Energy enthusiasts might find it useful
Energy Research & Design Studio
Kolpa Architecten te Rotterdam and Droog Design are running a research and design studio at the IM masters department of the Design Academy Eindhoven called Single Life Energy. Download the program details here.
A round up of the polls
According to ballot the Energy Statement is a great idea (145 votes), One Million Roofs is a close second (123 votes), and the Home Monitoring Display is pretty good too (97 votes).
These are some of the ideas on the Future Currents website - if you haven't already voted please do. After this week's launch event our partners are considering how best to take these ideas forward so your opinion does count. You can vote on the policy recommendations too - where One Millions Roofs is in the lead (99 votes) followed closely by Home Energy Production (84 votes). Check the website for the details.
RED: Future Currents
The final outputs from the RED: Future Currents project can now be found at www.futurecurrents.org. This marks the conclusion of the RED investigation on energy and forms the record of the ideas developed. For any comments on this work please use the comments and suggestions pages on the website.
If this work has inspired you, or if you are interested in developing ideas arising from this work and want to meet other people who could help, please feel free to use the comments section on this blog to start conversations.