Last week I was thrilled to win the ‘Environmental Champion' DEBI award (Devon Environmental Business Initiative) in recognition of my commitment to a low carbon lifestyle over 20 years.
My most significant contribution to low carbon living is my work as Director of CosyHome Company, a business offering energy-saving insulation solutions for period homes. I am currently aiming to catalyse an insulation revolution across the UK as insulating all Britain's homes will reduce the national carbon footprint by 10%.
I was awarded the DEBI Environmental Champion award largely in acknowledgment of CosyHome's work restoring the iconic North Devon heritage village of Clovelly, renowned worldwide as one of the UK's most picturesque villages. Perched at the edge of a 400 foot cliff, Clovelly is famous for its old-world charm and cobbled streets, where donkeys and sledges are the only form of transport.
CosyHome's insulation of Clovelly represents an excellent model for how old buildings can be insulated so they are made warm for winter while preserving their character, saving energy, protecting the environment, and reducing heating bills.
We have just completed Phase One of the Clovelly project applying draft proofing and loft insulation to all 120 properties, as well as room-in-roof insulation to sloping ceilings. We are in discussion with the landlord about a potential Phase Two, which will involve fitting our unique, advanced secondary glazing system, reducing heat lost through the windows by 70%.
With demand rising for warmer, energy-saving old homes, CosyHome is actively expanding, and has achieved 72% growth on last year. The DEBI award will help us get more attention for our home energy-saving products, which in turn will help more home owners save money and be warmer in their homes as well as having a greatly reduced impact on the environment.
However, even though CosyHome aims at over 50% growth per year, one company could never insulate even 1% of Britain's 27 million homes, so we hope other companies will copy our techniques to achieve our nationwide insulation mission.
Meantime, with freezing temperatures predicted across the UK this winter, now is the time to insulate your period home and get it cosy, safe in the knowledge that you'll be preserving its beauty, saving energy and money, and helping to avert climate change.
Mukti Mitchell is Director of CosyHome Company specialising in insulation solutions for period properties: www.cosyhomecompany.co.uk; 0845 347 9367. He is also the author of the Guide to Low Carbon Lifestyles (downloadable at www.lowcarbonlifestyle.org.uk)