"Achieving a Low-Carbon Household:
A guide for the better off"
This is a new (February 2017) book to help you save energy and reduce your carbon emissions in every day life set in the context of climate change and the necessary transition away from fossil fuels to low-carbon sources of energy.
This is a book about how all individuals and households can change their lifestyles to reduce their carbon emissions. There are many books on this topic but this book is different in that it targets the better off. The better off have disproportionally large carbon footprints but they are in a better position than others to do something about it.
I was motivated to write the book when I was astonished one day to realise that after some years of personal energy saving that I had been able to reduce my carbon emissions by over 60 per cent. In fact, as I discovered, it is possible to make even greater reductions by extensively retrofitting an existing home or even by building a new low-carbon home.
The book has a Contents list and an Index (in the hard copy version). It is 230 pages long and has 11 chapters (see
Chapter summaries). It is fully referenced. The sources used include web sites, downloadable reports, magazine articles and papers in scientific journals.
Two chapters explain the science and consequences of climate change and the background to our use of energy. A further chapter explains how households can measure their own carbon footprint.
Lots of ideas are provided in a structured way according to whether they depend on simple changes in behaviour, some moderate expenditure or installing more expensive renewables. In separate chapters, there are suggestions for how to cut back on emissions from the use of electricity and gas in the home and from getting about (including travelling abroad). Another chapter describes some actual examples of extensively retrofitted and purpose-built low-carbon homes which I visited.
Ways to avoid emitting yet more greenhouse gases, when spending money that’s been saved by using less energy, are presented. The final chapter discusses how everyone can, and should, decide to take responsibility for their own impact on climate change and to work towards changing the norms of behaviour in today’s world.