Are you a home owner?
IF YOU’RE a homeowner, there are some other things you can consider to improve the energy efficiency of your home. These can be costly to put in place, but will benefit you in the long term.
Renewables Installing renewable technology for your heating or electricity can lead to greater savings on your energy bills and extra income as a result of the energy you generate.
What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is generated from natural resources such as the sun, wind and water, using technology which ensures that the energy stores are naturally replenished. Instead of buying all of your energy from suppliers, you can install renewables technology (also called micro generation and low-carbon technology) to generate your own. What are the benefits of installing renewables? There are lots of good reasons to use renewables. You will be: a) making use of secure and local resources. b) reducing your dependence on non-renewable energy. c) helping to reduce the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. d) creating new jobs in renewable energy industries. e) reducing your energy bills. In some cases you can generate income by selling your surplus energy back to your energy provider. There are a variety of products on the market that can help you save money. Electricity – solar panels, wind turbines, hydro. Heat – biomass, ground source heat pumps, air source heat pumps, solar water heating, thermal stores. Be clear on what you want to achieve with your renewable technology. This will influence which technology is most appropriate for you. Many people want to save money and reduce their emissions, and it is becoming more possible to achieve both. Other factors can have an impact, for example: If you need to replace your boiler or central heating system, installing a new biomass boiler or heat pump becomes more cost-effective. If your priority is to save carbon dioxide, consider woodfuelled heating, a large wind turbine or a large solar PV system. If you want to do your bit for the environment but have limited funds, think about a cheaper option such as solar water heating. If you live in an isolated rural property with no mains electricity, you may get the most reliable off-grid supply from hydro or from a mixture of wind and solar PV.
Making sure your home is well insulated can significantly reduce unnecessary heat loss, leading to lower energy bills and a more comfortable home. There are many simple yet effective ways to insulate your home, which can significantly reduce heat loss while lowering your heating bills. Roof and loft Insulation. A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. Insulating your loft, attic or flat roof is a simple and effective way to reduce heat loss and reduce your heating bills. Loft insulation is effective for at least 40 years and it should pay for itself many times over. Choosing loft insulation. If your loft is easy to access and has no damp or condensation problems, it should be easy to insulate. It is possible to do it yourself. If access is easy and your loft joists are regular, you can use rolls of mineral wool insulation. The first layer is laid between the joists – the horizontal beams that make up the floor of the loft – then another layer is laid at right angles to cover the joists and make the insulation up to the required depth. This can be done by someone competent in DIY or a professional installer. About a third of all the heat lost in an uninsulated home escapes through the walls. Heat will always flow from a warm area to a cold one. In winter, the colder it is outside, the faster heat from your home will escape into the surrounding air. If your house was built after the 1920s, it is likely to have cavity walls. Older houses are more likely to have solid walls. If your home has solid walls, the bricks will have
an alternating pattern: If the brickwork has been covered, you can also tell by measuring the width of the wall. Examine a window or door on one of your external walls. If a brick wall is more than 260mm thick then it probably has a cavity; a narrower wall is probably solid. Stone walls may be thicker still but are usually solid.
How much could you save by draught-proofing?
Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £25 per year. Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you may be able to turn down your thermostat saving even more on your energy bills. For more information on how you can save money, please visit http://www.energysavingtrust.org. uk/ or call Home Energy Scotland today on 0808 808 2282.