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Solid wall retrofit solution wins UK Ashden award

Green business news - by GreenWise staff
21st June 2013
A solid wall retrofit solution that can be fitted quickly and while residents are still living in their homes has won the coveted UK Ashden Gold award.
WHISCERS, which stands for Whole House In-Situ Carbon and Energy Reduction Solution, is an internal wall insulation process that can cut fuel bills by up to 40 per cent. It uses laser scanning to measures the dimensions of a room. The insulation board is then cut off-site, enabling rapid installation with little mess. It means the whole process can take just a few hours to complete, enabling residents to stay in their homes, and saving relocation costs for housing providers.

The multi-award winning process, is the result of a partnership between social housing developer United House and charity Sustainable Energy Academy (SEA), which is behind the SuperHomes network of 150 homeowners that have refurbished their old homes to high standard of energy efficiency. United House and SEA say that if the process was rolled out to all 7.8 million of the UK’s hard-to-treat homes, it could save an estimated £3 billion and 14 million tonnes of CO2 emissions every year.

The Ashden judges said: "SEA’s creativity and United House’s experience in delivery have combined to create an affordable, easy-to-install insulation solution that is breaking down the barriers to making the UK’s housing stock more energy efficient. This could play a major role in reducing fuel poverty by keeping homes warm while radically cutting fuel bills. This successful business partnership could revolutionise the home insulation sector, as well as providing new opportunities for employment in the green economy."

The Ashden Awards, now in their 13th year, recognise clean energy solutions both in the UK and abroad that support local communities and jobs. They were held last night at ceremony at the Royal Geographical Society in London hosted by broadcaster Emma Freud.

Other winners
A total of 14 winners across five categories were announced. They included solar lantern charity SolarAid , which received the International Gold Award – worth £40,000 – for its work to distribute solar lamps to people in rural East Africa. The charity has sold over 500,000 lamps since 2010, making it the largest distributor of solar lights in Africa.

Wadebridge Renewable Energy Network (WREN), a cooperative that has been behind rapid take up of renewable energy technology in a small community in Cornwall, won the Community Energy Award, and Monodraught scooped the Energy Innovation award for its innovative low-energy natural cooling and ventilation system COOLPHASE, which helps reduce the running costs of commercial buildings.

The UK winner of the Eurostar Ashden Award for Sustainable Travel, now in its second year, was the charity Sustrans for its work on extending the National Cycle Network.

There were three other international winners: Impact Carbon, a US-based charity that is working in East Africa, China and other parts of the world to help businesses that produce and sell carbon cutting products grow and expand their markets by accessing carbon finance; WWF-DRC, which is training local businesses in the Democratic Republic of Congo to build and sell cheap, culturally appropriate stoves that halve the amount of charcoal needed, thereby preventing deforestation; and Azuri Technologies, a UK start-up that has developed a pay-as-you-go interface which allows households in Africa to pay for solar power as they use it with scratchcards.

"Our winners are amazing people, doing remarkable things. They are champions and leaders in their field. By changing the way we use and generate energy, they transform lives for the better – reducing poverty, improving wellbeing and increasing jobs and livelihoods," Ashden founder director Sarah Butler-Sloss said.

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Solid wall retrofit solution wins UK Ashden award
Internal wall insulation process WHISCERS has won the coveted UK Ashden Gold Award
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