Dezeen Magazine

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Poor-quality housing is "the number one thing holding the UK back" says Bulb CEO

The UK needs to drastically improve its "poorly insulated, draughty" homes if it is to eradicate its carbon emissions, according to Hayden Wood, CEO of renewable energy supplier Bulb.

'The number one thing holding the UK back is the quality of its housing stock," Wood told Dezeen. "Our houses are poorly insulated, draughty."

"The adoption of new practices is quite slow in the UK," added Wood, who co-founded Bulb in 2015.

"Architects and builders are at the very centre of what we need to do to get to net-zero."

Switching to renewable energy "most effective way of reducing emissions"

Wood spoke to Dezeen as part of its carbon revolution project, which explores ways to reduce atmospheric carbon dioxide and utilise carbon in beneficial ways.

"If you're looking for the most effective ways of reducing carbon emissions, you switch to a renewable energy supplier and it takes three minutes," Wood said.

"But the next best thing is to drastically improve the energy efficiency of a home," he added. "The greenest thing to do is to just reduce your need for energy, which comes from more efficient buildings."

Architects should put pressure on local authorities to allow greener buildings

Asked what advice he had for architects, Wood said: "That means running energy efficiency surveys, speaking to experts and consultants about how you can make homes more energy-efficient and not installing gas boilers and gas ovens and gas fires in homes by default."

"It means really putting pressure on local planning authorities to allow you to have solar panels or solar tiles on the roofs of buildings, even if they haven't been used in the area before."

Bulb supplies 1.7 million UK homes with renewable electricity sourced from wind, solar and hydro-electric providers as well as "carbon-neutral gas," which is a combination of methane captured from farm waste and fossil gas that has been offset by buying carbon credits.

Wood leads Tech Zero, a new initiative to help technology companies achieve net-zero emissions.

Read the full interview with Wood here.