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Welcome to NeRV…generating the data on domestic decarbonisation

The UK is legally committed to reaching Net Zero Emissions by 2050 and on an accelerated pathway to reduce emissions across our entire society, from industry to transport, and, how we generate our power and heat our homes.  

Net Zero requires a co-ordinated effort across the whole of the economy and by all households, who will need to make technology choices and potentially change long-standing habits and behaviours to live more sustainable lives.   

To meet this goal, the UK needs to decarbonise an average of 20,000 properties each week for the next 20 to 25 years.

This includes work to improve the energy and water efficiency of households, exploring retrofit technologies, controls and appliances, as well as the building fabric itself.  

At NGN, we have responded to these challenges by building research and demonstration centre NeRV (Net Zero Research Village) at our Low Thornley site near Gateshead. 

It’s the UK’s first combined whole systems research, development and demonstration facility, covering gas, electricity and water. 

Through providing a space for collaborative innovative research and testing, NeRV will optimise low carbon, least cost decarbonisation solutions for UK households. 

The test homes at Futures Close.

At the heart of NeRV is Futures Close; nine homes built to represent five different construction eras. 

It includes: 

  • Three 1910s terraces
  • Two 1930s semi-detached houses
  • A 1950s bungalow
  • Two 1970s flats
  • A 1990s detached home

This unique street is a highly instrumented innovation and test environment.

Each home contains sensors capturing metrics such as temperature, humidity, gas, water and electricity consumption, generating data to help shape and inform future decarbonisation strategies for UK housing stock. 

It provides a perfect testbed for retrofit net zero technology, to understand the challenges involved at scale and in real time, while delivering data-driven answers on the energy solutions best suited to different types of home. 

The homes were built by NGN and partners, and supported by  a £1.86 million grant from the North East Local Enterprise Partnership through the Getting Building Fund. 

For more information on NeRV please email our team at NERV@northerngas.co.uk