October 2, 2013 News

Chopped room to showcase energy-efficiency innovation

One of the UK’s most sustainably designed houses has ‘chopped’ an entire room to showcase a new innovation in domestic energy-efficiency. The house in question is owned by the Building Research Establishment (BRE) and is designed to demonstrate some of the latest advances in energy solutions. 

The Rexel Innovation Centre at the BRE Innovation Park in Watford is the first house in the UK designed to Code for Sustainable Homes Level 5. Originally built by Stewart Milne Group using modern methods of construction, the house is an ongoing project that is refurbished with the latest technology advances by Rexel Energy Solutions.

“The innovation park showcases different domestic technologies that really are imaginative and forward thinking, underpinned by independent scientific research”, comments Nick Smith, Global Development Director, BRE. “Architects, specifiers, home owners and developers come here to learn, to see and to understand what new products can do for them.” 

The house has recently been extensively updated with the latest technology and is being reopened today as part of Insite2013. New rooms have been unveiled in the house including one that is dedicated to a revolutionary and somewhat unusual energy saving concept, chopping.

Chopping is straightforward but backed up by fundamental scientific principles. By simply turning the heating off for a portion of time every hour, consumers can reduce their energy consumption and save money on bills without feeling any difference in temperature. The Chop-Cloc is a unique heating control device that allows homeowners to control the ‘chopping’ period and save up to 30% on their heating bills. 

Having the heating off from anywhere between 15 and 45 minutes an hour (depending on how cold it is) really doesn’t make any difference to how warm you feel in the room. Carpets, walls, sofas, even other people get ‘charged up’ with heat energy from the radiators and continue to release that heat even if the heating is switched off (or chopped) for a time. 

Inside ‘The Chopping Centre’, visitors learn about the concept of chopping in a variety of ways. These range from hands on experience of a working Chop-Cloc which runs at 60 times normal speed to demonstrate hourly chopping cycles every minute, to informative animations and testimonial videos from those who have embraced the chopping lifestyle and are already saving money of their central heating bills. 

“Rexel wanted to showcase the best in class products that give homeowners and building owners the opportunity to reduce energy use in a very cost-effective way”, explains Brian Smithers, Strategic Development Director, Northern Zone at Rexel Energy Solutions. “The Chop-Cloc room is very innovative, very smart and brings some colour and energy to the home.” 

With housing generating 27% of UK emissions, of which 73% is used for space and water heating, the Chop-Cloc is a fantastic example of how very simple innovations can make a significant contribution to addressing global warming. 

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