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Hitachi

Social Innovation

How can your house tackle climate change?

Our homes are on the front line of combating climate change. What technologies will make them more environmentally friendly?

DECEMBER 2019

As the number of households in the UK increases, the need to reduce their carbon footprint increases too.

How is this being achieved, and what does it tell us about how homes are changing? This graphic explores how smarter homes are helping to tackle climate change.

1. Heat pumps are installed to extract natural warmth from the air outside to heat the home and its water. They are effective to -15° C and can use electricity from renewable sources.
2. Solar panels will provide much of the household’s energy needs without polluting the environment. The latest panels are designed to look like roof tiles so they blend in to their surroundings.
3. A smart refrigerator that dynamically responds to wider energy usage on the national grid is installed. It switches itself on and off in response to demand to reduce energy usage while keeping food fresh. Cameras installed inside also allow residents to check the contents without letting out cool air by opening the door.
4. The house has a smart clothes dryer that uses a heat pump to generate hot air, lowering energy consumption by 60 percent compared to conventional clothes dryers. 
5. Advanced windows, use sensors to adjust shading based on the temperature and time of day, saving energy by both utilising and toning down heat from sunlight. 
6. Occupancy lighting automatically reduces electric lighting based on the amount of natural light in the room, and turns lights off when rooms are not in use.
7. Hybrid battery storage will store energy from solar panels when there is a surplus to discharge when there is shortfall, providing stable, reliable power for residents throughout the day.