What’s the most effective way generating enough off grid energy? Try not needing quite so much in the first place. According to the National Energy Foundation, in a typical UK home a third of the heat produced by a central heating system is unnecessarily and rapidly lost. As winter makes its hasty approach, try taking a few of these heat saving techniques to make sure you will be like the proverbial bug in the rug…
Loft insulation can save up to as much as 20% of your energy use. A minimum depth of 150mm (6 inches) – preferably 200mm (8 inches). Mineral wool (such as Rockwool or Rocksil), fibreglass and recycled paper products all work well.
Easy rating? You can easily do it yourself on a Saturday afternoon.
Implementation cost: £150 – £300
Equivalent standard energy bill saving: £60 – £70 (Per annum)
Most heat (up to half the total) is lost through the walls of an uninsulated house. Wall insulation can reduce this loss by two-thirds and make your home more comfortable. If there are cavity walls they can usually be safely filled with insulating fibre, beads or foam.
Easy rating? Need a professional
Implementation cost: £300 – £400
Equivalent standard energy bill saving: £60 – £70 per annum
If the walls are solid, internal insulation (often applied in the form of an insulated board fixed to the wall) is highly effective, but you will need to redecorate. (There is also an external version that may need planning permission).
Easy Rating; Can be done by competent DIYers.
Inplementation cost: £650 – £2,000
Equivalent standard energy saving: £45 – 55 (per annum)
WINDOWS & DOORS
Probably the most obvious sign that you are loosing heat, and one of the easiest to fix is the draughts from windows doors, with seals. (If you have a room with an open fire or a gas fire that does not have a balanced flue, you must take advice from a professional).
Easy Rating: a steady hand and a free couple of hours
Implementation cost: £45 – £60
Equivalent standard energy saving: £10 – £20 per annum
Double glazing, the most common UK’s most energy saving measure. The National Energy foundation recommend; “If windows need replacing, specify “Low-e” glazing, which has a special heat-reflective coating between the two panes of glass, reducing heat loss through the glass by nearly half. You can also ask for Argon gas filled windows: argon is a gas found naturally in ordinary air, but it transmits heat much less readily than the other gases in air, so helps you save even more money. Finally, look at the air gap between the panes; 6mm or 8mm are not really adequate, but 12mm to 20mm are much better are stopping heat losses (and also for reducing noise transmission).”
Easy rating: Need a professional
Implementation cost: £120 – £600
Equivalent standard energy saving: (£15 – £25 per annum)
Double Glazing (Low-E Glazing is best)
Easy rating: Need a professional
Implementation cost: £3,000+
Equivalent standard energy saving: £20 – £35 (per annum)
You can lose as much as 10% of heat through un-insulated floors. Using insulating blankets under suspended floors and laying boards over concrete floors can all help.
Easy rating; DIY or professional
Implementation cost: Varies greatly with method
For more ideas call your nearest Energy Efficiency Advice Centre free on 0800 512012