Updated: Nov 20, 2020
Donna Tyrelli, Managing Director of ReGlow Ltd talks about the challenges we face on the road to carbon zero.
Published version available on Discover Harlow
Work-life balance is a hot topic in 2020, and an important consideration when starting my own business ReGlow Ltd, a specialist in zero carbon solutions, back in 2019. Moving from London, I wanted to live and locate my business somewhere that gave me this balance, somewhere with easy access to the city, good travel links, and, as an enthusiastic climber, a local indoor climbing wall and good links to outdoor climbing areas. I found the perfect home and business location in Harlow.
ReGlow is growing quickly. Since the Paris Agreement was signed in 2016 when 197 countries agreed to limit climate change to an average of 2 degrees of warming, the renewable sector has gone from strength to strength. The Paris Agreement will have a big impact on how we live, every aspect of our lives from energy, transport, agriculture, construction, to how we manufacture will need to change. By 2030 emissions will be halved to put us on track to zero carbon by 2050 in accordance with the Paris Agreement and UK Net Zero Emissions Law.
ReGlow can help by putting the challenge into a local context and identify meaningful solutions for households, businesses, organisations and policymakers to reduce emissions. If you can see how to make a house zero carbon, then you can see how to make a street zero carbon, and if a street, then a town. And if a business can go zero carbon then an industry sector can, and then you start to see how the UK Net Zero Emissions Law and Paris Agreement can be met.
So what practical steps can we take?
Renewable electricity – switch to a 100% renewable energy contract, this is normally the cheapest option anyway.
Solar Panels – solar panels can provide big savings to both domestic and commercial customers. There are now financial schemes that require no upfront costs.
Government grants – home improvements may qualify for a Green Homes Grant.
Decarbonisation grant - the Salix grant can pay for heating, solar panels and efficiency measures in public buildings such as schools.
New homes – these can now be built to use 90% less energy at no extra cost.
Heating alternatives – infrared for example, a high tech form of heating is zero carbon when run using renewable energy.
Electric vehicles – this technology is improving all the time. ReGlow offer solar powered car ports with an electric vehicle charging point.
By 2035 all sales of petrol and diesel cars will be banned in the UK. One positive to come out of 2020 was the glimpse we saw of a world with minimal transport pollution, resulting in a renewed enthusiasm for electric cars. Fuel savings and the VAT tax breaks mean they are a cost-effective choice for many business fleets. ReGlow are always happy to provide cost analysis for switching to an electric fleet and determine a business carbon footprint.
I relocated to Harlow to maximise the success of my business and enjoy life, I then found Discover Harlow and an Ambassador network which has thrown me into a community of open minded, ambitious, friendly people, and as a result, I am proud to say that ReGlow is now leading on projects including a microturbine facility, solar installations, an eco-friendly community hall, a no dig market garden and an infra-red heating trial.
It turns out there is even more to Harlow than meets the eye and I am delighted to be a part of it!