Reduce your carbon emissions and improve your BER energy rating
IT DOESN’T have to cost the earth to improve the Building Energy Rating of your home. According to Brian Cashman, local RIAI registered architect and SEAI registered Building Energy Assessor the following measures can have a dramatic effect on reducing your home’s electricity and heating bills whilst also reducing your carbon emissions and improving your BER rating.
1. Replace all existing incandescent and halogen light bulbs with CFL and LED low energy bulbs. Energy efficient bulbs can reduce electricity consumption for lighting alone by up to 80%
2. Draught seal all windows and doors and letterboxes with draught excluder tape.
3. Install a lagging jacket to your copper hot water cylinder. If your copper hot water cylinder is over 15 years old it is about time you thought about replacing it. New factory insulated copper cylinders are much more energy efficient and will keep your water hotter for longer.
4. If you have single glazing or old air filled double glazing you should consider having the glazing replaced with new energy efficient argon filled double glazed units. By keeping your frames you can reduce the cost of upgrading the windows by 50% and can improve heat retention by up to 400%.
5. Block up chimneys with chimney balloons when not in use.
6. Replace old draughty hit and miss wall vents with new disc vents that create an airtight seal when not in use.
7. Open fires operate at an efficiency of 30%, by installing a woodburning stove you can achieve efficiencies of up to 65%. If you have an open fire with a back boiler you can install a stove door to turn the existing fireplace into a stove with back boiler you can achieve efficiencies of up to 65%.
8. Top up the level of insulation in your attic space to at least 300mm. A E200 grant is available from SEAI towards the cost of this work. Whilst doing this it is also worth lagging your coldwater storage tank and pipes to prevent frost damage.
9. Depending on the type of wall construction SEAI provide grants in relation to the upgrading of wall insulation. SEAI offers grants of E250 towards having your cavities pumped with bonded bead, up to E1800 for internal dry lining and up to E3,600 for external wall insulation.
10. Install Thermostatic Radiator Valves to radiators so that you can regulate internal room temperature on a room by room basis.
11. Upgrade your central heating controls. Traditional heating controls only allowed for turning the heating on or off on a 24 hour time clock with no means of heating hot water separately during the summer months or regulating internal temperatures. By installing a digital 7 day 3 zone time and temperature control system to your existing boiler you can save up to E500 a year on your fuel bills. A grant of E400 is available from SEAI towards the cost of installation of new heating controls. This measure usually has a 3 year payback and offers great value for money and has the biggest impact on improving the BER rating.
12. If your oil or gas boiler is more than ten years old it is probably operating at 79% maximum efficiency. By replacing the boiler with a condensing oil boiler you can achieve efficiencies of up to 97%. A grant of E560 is available towards the cost of replacing your boiler.
13. By installing solar panels you can reduce your water related heating costs by up to 70% annually. An grant is available from SEAI towards the cost of solar panels. NB: To avail of SEAI grants your house must have been constructed prior to 2006. For more information contact SEAI at www.seai.ie