The Energy Saving Trust has estimated that we could save 11% of the UK’s carbon emission target simply by making our homes more energy efficient and using existing technologies such as smart meters. Environmental consciousness has never been higher on the agenda, and it is now even filtering down to our little ones. We asked five children how they envisioned their eco-home of the future.
Fynn Rodell, 11: ‘The sun will heat my oven’
I’m going to have loads of tech on my house to make it carbon neutral. I’ll have a wind turbine on the roof to generate electricity for lighting. There will be solar panels on the front door for more energy, and a magnifying glass on the roof to focus the sun’s heat for my oven. A vent will help suck the heat in and spread it around the house for extra heating when I’m not cooking. There will be a smart meter in the house to see how much energy I’m creating and how much I’m using.
I’ll grow plants on the roof for insulation, to reduce carbon dioxide in the atmosphere and for insects to live there.
The turbine on the roof will also power a water cleanser, so I can turn rainwater into drinking and washing water. I’ll have a toilet vacuum like on an airplane so that I don’t waste much water.
Rosabela O’Selle-Goncalves, seven: ‘My house will say good things to you if you help the environment’
In my house of the future the door should be brown, the house should be peach, and the roof should be red. There wouldn’t be much made from plastic, because if the plastic gets in the rivers it kills the animals.
If you do really good things the house will see it and say good things about you because you’re helping the environment. It might say bad stuff if you ruin the environment, or it won’t speak to you.
I would like that to happen – it’d be very nice for the house to look and speak to you because it’ll make you feel happy.
My house would be medium-sized and you wouldn’t need keys, it would open if I put my hand on the door, but if a stranger put their hand on it, it wouldn’t open. It would know if people coming to the house were good or bad and would only let good people in.
It wouldn’t have loads of food because it’s bad for the environment to waste it. To get water you don’t turn a tap on, you press a button and tell it how much water you want. When I walk in the lights will go on and if I leave they go off.
Indy Williams, six: ‘Animals that have lost their habitats can come and live with us’
In the future, my house will have solar panels on the roof to generate electricity for the TV, maybe a wind turbine too. We’ll still have our pet cats, but if other animals have lost their habitats then they can come and live with us as well. There’ll be a sliding door to the garden where we keep our bikes and also grow tomatoes, cucumbers and pomegranates.
In the winter, all the inside walls will be covered in sheep’s wool so the house will be all cosy, like the inside of a slipper. We’ll have small windows and very big windows because it’s nice to have lots of sun, but not when you’re asleep. In the summer we’ll have a street party where no one will smoke or use plastic.
Arianna Burke, nine: ‘A robot will sense when you’re wasting energy’
I believe environmentally friendly homes of the future will have light switches that switch off in an hour or two when no one is inside.
I think there would also be some sort of robot that senses if devices like the TV are on and knows whether people are there or not, and if not, it switches them off. I also think all houses should have solar panels on them automatically when they are built.
Rai Rodell, nine: ‘I’ll collect rainwater for animals to drink’
I’m going to have lots of animals in my house and in my garden. I’m going to grow food in the garden for me and my animals, and some seeds for the birds. I’ll put bird boxes on the roof so they have somewhere to live.
The balcony will shelter the outdoor animals when it rains. I’ll make sure there’s a rain collector on the side of the house and use the water to flush the toilet, but also for the animals to drink.
Part of Britain’s commitment to creating a more sustainable, low-carbon future includes making our energy network “smarter” – implementing digital tech to make our energy system more responsive to increased demand and variable wind speed. By collecting data on our energy use through smart meters, our network can better understand, plan for and balance out peaks and troughs in demand, making it easier to integrate renewable energy sources.
This article was paid for by Smart Energy GB, a government-backed organisation tasked with informing Great Britain about the smart meter rollout.