Working towards a low-carbon future

A waterfall at Stickle Ghyll, Cumbria

Whether we're capturing the energy of mountain streams, installing solar panels and smart meters in historic houses, or looking after woodlands, we're always working hard to use less energy and protect the environment.

Like us Smart Energy GB, the campaign for a smarter Britain, is working towards a greener country, and together we want to show you how nature can thrive if we embrace a low-carbon future.

This autumn our partner, the campaign for a smarter Britain, tasked with getting people to understand the benefits of smart meters and how they can save energy, will be bringing an augmented reality installation to six National Trust places to show you what the natural world could be like in 30 years' time. 

Travel through a time portal to the year 2050 to see what could happen to the places we love if we don’t take action to reduce energy usage and experience how nature could thrive in a low-carbon future. This installation will simulate environmental conditions to show what climate change might feel like, with ambassadors from the campaign for a smarter Britain on hand to answer questions.

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We're already seeing the effects of climate change at the places we care for. Our Climate Change Advisor, Keith Jones said it's the 'single biggest threat' we face as a conservation charity. 

" Climate change is not some time in the future. It's happening here and now, affecting the special places we care for."
- Keith Jones, Climate Change Advisor, National Trust

Keith said: 'Climate change is not some time in the future. It's happening here and now, affecting the special places we care for. 

'We've seen overheating at some National Trust places in the South East, pests and diseases harming ash trees, and landslides and flooding at many sites.'

But we're working in a number of ways to cut carbon emissions and reduce the impact that climate change is having on the countryside. We're making the places we care for as energy efficient as possible, expanding our network of electric vehicle charging points, protecting woodlands, restoring precious wildlife habitats and making sure our rivers continue to flow. 

It's easy to feel helpless in the face of climate change, but by taking small steps, such as installing a smart meter, we can make a meaningful difference together. They can’t solve climate change on their own, but with the smarter, more efficient energy they create, they’re a start. It's much easier to be more energy efficient if you know how much energy you're using. This is why we're using hundreds of smart meters at the places we care for to measure how much energy is used at different times of day.

Protect the future 

Find out how you can help protect the future by joining us for the campaign for a smarter Britain's ‘Travel to 2050’ experience. As you travel into the future, you’ll discover the steps we can all take to create a low-carbon, energy-efficient way of living and make sure special places stay around for ever, for everyone.


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Our work with the campaign for a smarter Britain

Smart Energy GB is the campaign for a smarter Britain. Its task is to support a national roll-out of smart meters across 26 million homes and ensure people understand the benefits of smart meters and how to be cleaner and greener with their energy use. This makes them the perfect partner to help us achieve our energy reduction targets and tackle the effects of climate change, so the places we care for can be enjoyed by future generations. 

We've committed to reducing our energy use by 15% by 2021, compared to a 2009 baseline. We also aim to generate 50% of our energy needs from renewable sources. With the demand for electricity in Britain set to double by 2050, the same year that the government wants to cut carbon emissions, we all need to do our bit to save energy. 

Sacha Deshmukh, the Chief Executive of the campaign for a smarter Britain, said: 'If our country is to meet the government's commitment to cut all carbon emissions by 2050, the outdated energy system needs to become much more responsive to fluctuating supply from sustainable sources like wind and sun.'

This partnership will allow us to invest in even more renewable energy projects at National Trust places.

How we're getting behind green energy