Re­duce your car­bon emis­sions and im­prove your BER en­ergy rat­ing

The Argus - - ADVERTISING -

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

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