Reducing carbon emissions and the drive to a net zero estate is probably the biggest domestic challenge the MOD faces over the next ten years.
DIO has a plan which covers a raft of sustainability-related projects. Currently, 98 percent of quarters have gas or oil fired central heating; but DIO has an aspiration to turn this around by 2032, so that 98 percent don’t, and there will be no gas cookers – meaning Service Family Accommodation (SFA) will eventually be ‘all electric’.
Example new kitchens that use sustainable, recyclable products, with mid-level ovens and separate hobs have recently been installed. Hobs will be compatible with the majority of saucepan types and are ‘cold touch’ even when a ring is turned on.
Air source heat pumps or electric radiators are already used on the SFA estate – and will continue to be – and DIO has also been running Project Nixie which delivers heating via a thermal battery. While it’s still in the concept stage, early results are promising and likely to deliver carbon emission-free heating and hot water for less cost than traditional gas.
A programme of streetlight replacement has also started with traditional mains lights swapped for photovoltaic (PV) powered LEDs. Some have already been installed at Pirbright, Bordon and Ternhill amongst others. They will turn off at midnight, but will switch on and off when they sense movement, from then until dawn.
This initiative reduces carbon emissions and light pollution, which has a beneficial effect on biodiversity – particularly for nocturnal insects.