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It is one of 25 projects taking place across the country at various student unions. GreenPad is funded by the Students' Green Fund, a joint initiative by the National Union of Students and HEFCE. GreenPad houses will be of high quality and energy-efficient, helping students to reduce their bills as well as their impact on the environment.
Representatives from each of the projects have been invited to a parliamentary reception today (14 May) at the House of Lords to celebrate the positive impacts of the Students’ Green Fund. Lord Redesdale and Steve Egan, Deputy Chief Executive of HEFCE are attending the event which will showcase the creativity, diversity and green credentials of students’ unions across the country.
Given rising housing bills and the university’s carbon reduction target, it is important to educate students in how to reduce the cost of their bills, and how simple life-changes can help them live sustainability and reduce their carbon footprint. However, with all-inclusive billing in the majority of private rented homes, no incentive exists for students to use less and live more sustainability. GreenPad will change this, by offering energy-efficient properties with separate rent and bills, while providing free smart metering systems to students so they can see what they are using in real time. Alongside this the project will teach, encourage and reward sustainable behaviours.
GreenPad’s team of 12 trained student assessors has audited around 180 properties, 20 of which are now listed online for students to rent for September 2014, with more properties to be added. All the houses are fully double-glazed and insulated.
When the two years of initial funding from HEFCE and the National Union of Students comes to a close, the GreenPad lettings service will become completely self-sustainable.