Working with Smart Energy GB for a low-carbon future
Whether we're capturing the energy of mountain streams or installing solar panels and smart meters in historic houses, we're always working hard to use less energy. Find out how we are working with Smart Energy GM, the campaign for a smarter Britain, to show how nature can thrive if we embrace a low-carbon future.
A glimpse at the future climate
In autumn 2021, our partner, tasked with getting people to understand the benefits of smart meters and how they can save energy, took an augmented reality installation to six National Trust places to show what the natural world could be like in 30 years’ time.
The installation opened up 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 simulated environmental conditions to show what climate change might feel like, with ambassadors from the campaign for a smarter Britain on hand to answer questions.
"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
The biggest single threat
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. 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,' he added.
Smart changes to make a difference
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.
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 initially committed to reducing our energy use by 15% by 2021, compared to a 2009 baseline. We also committed to generating 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.
This partnership allows us to invest in even more renewable energy projects at National Trust places.
With support from the Government’s Green Recovery Challenge Fund, we're looking for ways to protect our environment and combat climate change. Find out more about the work we're doing.
Climate change is the single biggest threat to the places we care for. Take a look at our environmental pledges as we adapt, reduce carbon emissions and address the damage already done.
Play your part by learning how to reduce your carbon footprint and reducing plastic waste. Plus, find out how to join the Great Big Green Week campaign.
Discover how some of the special places in our care are harnessing the power of the sun to generate electricity and reduce their carbon footprints.
Discover how biomass boilers are being used by some of the special places in our care to provide heat and hot water whilst also reducing their carbon footprint.
Using heat pumps to provide greener energy at the places in our care, from castle gardens to historic mansions, is helping to reduce our carbon footprint.
Discover which of the places in our care generate their own hydroelectricity, from a 19th-century 'smart home' in Northumberland to a state-of-the-art water turbine in scenic Snowdonia.