The Energy and Sustainability Working Group is constantly developing and proposing new ways that 3C Building Control can offer support and services which will help our community contribute towards reaching the Carbon Neutral Goal.

We can provide helpful resources on energy efficiencies and sustainability to homeowners and residents on their retrofit projects.

3C Building Control Energy Saving Infographic [PDF, 1.5MB]

Net zero

The term net zero means achieving a balance between the carbon emitted into the atmosphere and the carbon removed from it. This balance – or net zero – will happen when the amount of carbon we add to the atmosphere is no more than the amount removed.

To reach net zero, emissions from homes, transport, agriculture and industry will need to be cut. In other words, these sectors will have to follow the Net Zero Strategy to reduce the amount of carbon they put into the atmosphere to reach “net zero” emissions by 2050.

Cambridge City Council's Climate Change Strategy [PDF, 4MB] shares a vision for Cambridge to be net zero carbon by 2030, subject to government, industry and regulators implementing the necessary changes to enable the city and the rest of the UK to achieve this.

It sets out six key objectives for how Cambridge City Council will address the causes and consequences of climate change:

  1. Reducing carbon emissions from city council buildings, land, vehicles, and services

  2. Reducing energy consumption and carbon emissions from homes and buildings in Cambridge

  3. Reducing carbon emissions from transport in Cambridge

  4. Reducing consumption of resources, reducing waste, and increasing recycling in Cambridge

  5. Promoting sustainable food

  6. Supporting council services, residents, and businesses to adapt to the impacts of climate change.

Cambridge City Council has set an ambitious target in its new Carbon Management Plan [PDF, 1.5MB] to deliver Objective 1 of the strategy and reduce direct carbon emissions from our corporate buildings (including swimming pools, office buildings, car parks, sheltered housing schemes, community centres, arts venues and the crematorium), fleet vehicles (including vans, trucks and refuse vehicles), and business travel, to net zero by 2030.

We will be taking a range of steps to help deliver the vision for Cambridge to be net zero carbon by 2030 which are detailed in the Action Plan [PDF, size unavailable].

Retrofitting existing houses

Retrofitting is the act of fitting new systems designed for high energy efficiency and low energy consumption to buildings previously built without them. This can range from small activities such as fitting energy-efficient light bulbs to installing state-of-the-art heating systems. The reasons for doing this are simple. A more efficient building will be cheaper to run, have a lower impact on the environment and the higher energy rating that comes with this can increase the value of the property.

There is a broad spectrum of commonly used methods of sustainably retrofitting a domestic property. These include solar panels, smart meters and sustainable water and heating systems.

Read through Retrofit for the Future: A guide to making retrofit work. This guide offers useful information and guidance based on the learnings of 40 homes retrofitted as part of the Retrofit for the Future programme.

Action on Energy - Cambridgeshire

Deciding to install a retrofit measure on your home is a big decision, with significant possible benefits. However, to access these benefits, it's important to ensure your installation is carried out within planning regulations and policies, as well as safely and to a high standard. View a guide to retrofitting your home [PDF, size unavailable] and the Energy Efficiency Booklet.


Anglian Water - Save Water

Every drop of water is precious, so we're always looking for ways to protect and save it. Our communities are growing, and the average household now uses 15% more than it used to, meaning we all need to use water more carefully at home and in the garden. Together we can make a difference

Although we can't make it rain more, we can all make small changes to save more water for ourselves, communities, and local environment. Your actions make a big difference, so discover our water saving tips.


Cambridge Carbon Footprint

Cambridge Carbon Footprint works to raise awareness of climate change issues and to support people in moving to low-carbon living.

Its vision is of low carbon communities which are sustainable, resilient and rewarding. Its mission is to inspire people to engage with climate change and empower them, individually and within their communities, to move towards low carbon living. It offers a varied programme of events and activities which will inspire people to engage with climate change and empower them to join together to build a low-carbon future.

Open Eco Homes is an event that takes place every autumn which runs tours and talks to give you ideas and information to get started with your own eco-home. The tours are run by homeowners who show and discuss how their homes are low carbon, some are new-build and some retrofits, but you are guaranteed to get some great ideas on what will suit your home and how you can kickstart your own eco-home project.

Cambridge Carbon Footprint also offers advice on carbon dioxide monitoring and thermal imaging so that you can see where you can save on your home's heating and carbon emissions.

How can I save energy in my home?

Almost half of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions come from energy we use every day, much of it at home. By making more efficient use of energy and reducing waste we can all help prevent climate change and save money on bills. Grants may also be available to offset against the cost of energy efficiency measures.

Planning Portal and the Energy Saving Trust have provided guidance on how you can improve your energy usage at home as well as details on grants and how you can apply for them.

Groundwork East – Green Doctor Service

Groundwork is working across the East of England to create stronger, healthier communities, responsible business and greater prospects for local people.

Groundwork East offers the Green Doctor Service, focusing primarily in Cambridge City. The service offers in-home consultations as well as telephone consultations to residents living in fuel poverty that may be struggling to pay their utility bills or to keep their homes warm. Green Doctors assist residents to better get control of their energy usage, get on top of utility bills including utility debts, in order to live in warmer homes and have a better quality of life.

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Services offered Although the service is free there are qualifying criteria
Look at funding to improve home energy efficiency, for example: insulation, new boilers Anyone aged over 65
Switching energy companies Anyone living on a low income or with debt
Energy awareness advice for residents themselves Anyone with mental or physical medical conditions, especially ones exacerbated by the cold, for example: arthritis, asthma, cardiovascular conditions
Help to pay off debts by applying to grants or setting up payment plans Young families who have children under the age of 5
Onward referrals, for example: Anglian Water Priority Services Team Anyone living in emergency housing or poor housing conditions (Mould)

Free installation of energy saving measures:

  • LED light bulbs
  • Draught proofing
  • Radiator panels
  • Letter flap and door brushes
  • Hot water bottles
  • Water saving shower heads
Pregnant women

Initially a first consultation is held, with the option of a second if needed as well as a follow up call to see how the suggested actions and recommendations are going.

Residents can get in touch directly through or by calling 07702 941440. Referrals can be made through the following webpage.

Reduce condensation and prevent mould in your home

A build-up of moisture in your home can cause damp and mould problems and could affect your health.

Condensation is a common problem caused when moist, warm air meets a cold surface like a window or external wall. Dampness caused by too much condensation can lead to mould growth on walls, ceilings and furniture.

Mould spores can irritate your throat and lead to serious permanent damage to your lungs. They can also lead to children developing asthma.

If mould starts to grow on your walls, clean it with an anti-mould cleaner or anti-fungal wash. You will then need to address the cause of the dampness that led to the mould growing. We have listed some tips below to help with this.

A guide to managing condensation and mould in your home [PDF, size unavailable]

CIEH and IOA launch new heat pump briefing notes

The Chartered Institute of Environmental Health (CIEH) and Institute of Acoustics (IOA) have jointly launched two new briefing notes on mitigating the potential noise impacts of heat pumps.

Air source heat pumps and ground source heat pumps generate noise and can potentially cause significant adverse effects on people living nearby. With heat pumps being part of the government's strategy to reach net zero carbon emissions by 2050, CIEH and the IOA have worked together on these briefing notes which provide information on how to mitigate the potential noise impacts.

Read the full article