An overview is presented of a recently proposed "radically conservative" solution to the problem of dark energy in cosmology. The proposal yields a model universe which appears to be quantitatively viable, in terms of its fit to supernovae luminosity distances, the angular scale of the sound horizon in the cosmic microwave background (CMB) anisotropy spectrum, and the baryon acoustic oscillation scale. It may simultaneously resolve key anomalies relating to primordial lithium abundances, CMB ellipticity, the expansion age of the universe and the Hubble bubble feature. The model uses only general relativity, and matter obeying the strong energy condition, but revisits operational issues in interpreting average measurements in our presently inhomogeneous universe, from first principles. The present overview examines both the foundational issues concerning the definition of gravitational energy in a dynamically expanding space, the quantitative predictions of the new model and its best-fit cosmological parameters, and the prospects for an era of new observational tests in cosmology.