News date: 18/02/2008
Free insulation for the over 70's!
As part of the government's carbon emissions reduction target (CERT) scheme, a new initiative launched at the start of the year offers both cavity wall and loft insulation entirely free of charge to every homeowner in the UK who is either older than 70, or receiving certain benefits.
CERT obliges energy suppliers to promote reductions in carbon emissions for households, hence more money is being made available over the next three years to install energy efficiency measures in the homes of people on low incomes and the elderly.
Until now, grants to improve household energy efficiency were means tested. But now anyone who qualifies can apply to have their home insulated for free.
It's estimated that £1 in every £3 currently spent on heating UK homes is wasted due to poor insulation. Almost 9m UK homes have cavity walls that are waiting to be insulated. In England alone, around 40% of homes either have no loft insulation, or have less than 3.9 inches.
The Energy Savings Trust warns that around a third of a home's heat disappears through the walls. Good cavity wall insulation will save around £90 a year on heating bills, while proper loft insulation - 270mm deep - should save an average of £110 a year.
Electrical equipment left on standby wastes £740 million of energy every year. For example, a pc monitor switched off overnight (instead of leaving it on standby) saves enough energy to microwave 6 dinners.
To help households increase their energy efficiency British company OneClick Technologies has introduced the Intelliplug. It looks like a normal three-way adapter but is actually a smart way to save energy around the home.
Plug your computer into the main socket, and it’s peripheral equipment (printer and monitor) into the other two sockets. Now the smart thing is: as you switch off your computer, mains power to the other two devices is automatically turned off, meaning you do not unintentionally leave them on stand-by.
It will also work with TVs and attached recorders, etc. The company also offers a special version for laptops, and a eight-way socket panel.
Recommended by the Energy Saving Trust, the Intelliplug
plus postage from www.oneclickpower.com
News date: 19/09/2007
Energy efficient insulating glass
Pilkington’s have introduced a new energy efficient insulating glass which is said to easily achieve a BFRC Window Energy Rating of at least C. Pilkington ‘energiKare’ reduces the amount of heat loss through windows and also allows more heat (energy) from the sun in through the window - this effect is known as solar gain.
It consists of two special types of glass:-
* Pilkington K Glass, a low emissivity glass which stops heat escaping, and
* Pilkington Optiwhite, a special 'extra-clear' glass that increases the amount of solar heat gain to make the home feel warmer without turning up the heating.
* Filling the double glazed unit with argon gas stops further heat escaping from homes.
News date: 04/09/2007
Smart meters are the future
The government and
energy supply industry is currently conducting a £20m trial
to encourage households to curb their use of gas and electricity
and reduce Britain's emissions of greenhouse gases.
Some 15,000 homes are being equipped with state of the art smart meters, allowing consumers and suppliers to track energy use, cutting out the need for meter readings and estimated bills. Another 8,000 homes are to given stand alone real-time display units, which show consumers how much electricity they are using and what it is costing. Another 17,000 are to get advice on how to economise.
"Smart meters have great potential to help customers better understand their energy consumption and encourage energy efficiency,” said Ofgem Chief Executive, Alistair Buchanan. “Ofgem’s initial work suggests that smart meters are the future - the end of the meter reader. They will vastly improve the consumption data available within the home. These trials, which will be administered by Ofgem over the next two years, will provide us with firm evidence and hard facts about the benefits smart meters can bring."
The Liberal Democrats said smart meters could cut average household energy bills by £60 to £80 a year. The party's business and enterprise spokesman, Lembit Opik, said: "Rather than wasting time with unnecessary trials, the Government should get on with the job of rolling out (smart meters) across the country now. It is obvious that smart meters cut costs and carbon usage in the home, by making it much easier for people to grasp the true extent of their energy usage.”
Smart meters are expected to be rolled out to most households within the next ten years, and all but the smallest businesses in the next five years.
In the meantime,
Government has proposed that real time display units be provided
with any new meters fitted from 2008, and to all households that
request them between 2008-2010. It is estimated that these short-term
measures will deliver savings of 300,000 tones of carbon per year
by 2020. Government will be consulting further on the implementation
of these proposals.