Sustainable energy and the reduction of carbon emissions are here to stay in the new world of energy efficiency.
Government plans are set to transform the energy efficiency of construction over the coming decades. Are you prepared?
By 2020 seven million homes will have been significantly improved retrofitted with all appropriate insulation measures or with micro renewable products like solar thermal panels. By 2015 no old home will lack the basic energy efficiency measures, and from 2016 all new homes will be built to a new zero-carbon standard.
You may have heard about the government’s Green Deal scheme, which lets people make energy-saving improvements to their home without having to pay all the costs up front. Instead, you pay this back through your energy bills.
A Green Deal Assessment will be carried out on your home. The Green Deal Advisor will then be able to give you Green Deal Advice and recommendations for measures that will improve the energy efficiency of your home, based on your current lifestyle energy usage. You will receive a Green Deal Report, which will recommend any energy efficient improvements that can be offered to you under this scheme. There are many areas that would be considered for improvement such as:
- Double Glazing
- Boiler Upgrades
- Loft Insulation
- Cavity Wall Insulation
- Solid Wall Insulation
- Draft Proofing
- Flooring Insulation
- Solar Water Panels
- Solar Panels
- Ground Source Heat Pumps
- Wind Turbines
There is also a Cashback Scheme, which is open to householders making energy saving improvements under the Green Deal. This includes those renting privately or in social housing. Landlords, private and social, are also eligible where they pay installation costs, up to certain limits.
This is the scale of the government’s ambitions to tackle the third of UK carbon emissions that come from housing. Sustainability is the single most important future trend in the construction industry and anyone who ignores it, does it on their own peril.
There are many ways to become eco friendly. Green energy is available to anyone who has the desire to harness it and many people are beginning to realize the importance of living sustainably. Living green can be as simple as recycling everything possible while only buying products that are recycled themselves. One of the latest trends in sustainable living is reusing and restoring products that still have good use or turning a product that seems useless into something useful with slight modification. It is generally more efficient to heat only those rooms which we use frequently. However, if you do need to heat the majority of your home ducted or central heating can offer a more environmentally friendly solution as it generally uses less resources than multiple open fires or single appliances. Typical efficiencies for central heating are: 85-97% for gas fired heating; 80-89% for oil-fired.
An important part of reducing your ecological footprint is to convert your existing lighting to a more efficient form. It has been reported that around 9% of a households energy costs come through lighting the home. Many of us have already converted our incandescent light bulbs to the more energy efficient compact fluorescents (CFL). However as technological advances occur new forms of lighting are becoming more readily available and affordable. LED lamps last 25 – 55 times longer. The light emitting diode (LED), although they have been around for many years in household appliances they are only now reaching a point where they can produce enough light for household and commercial lighting. LED lamps last 25 – 55 times longer than incandescent lamps and their high-efficiency can lead to savings of 70% – 90% in power consumption.
Some of the advantages of LED lights are:
- High durability – no filament or tube to break
- Long life span – LEDs last approximately 100,000 hours
- Low power consumption – reduces overall electricity bill
- Flexible application – the small size of LEDs can lead to unique lighting devices. For example, with a cluster of LEDs a wide variety of illumination distributions can be generated
- Low heat generation.
Recycling is the reprocessing of old/used materials into new products. Recycling generally prevents the waste of potentially useful materials, reduces the consumption of raw materials and reduces energy usage, and hence greenhouse gas emissions. Recycling is a key concept of modern waste management and is the third component of the waste hierarchy.
C J Yates Construction Ltd, aim to, where ever practically possible, use environmental products and recycle all that we can, to make us more environmentally friendly and help the Earth. Our recycling includes items such as, bricks, concrete, glass, wood, paper, aluminium, asphalt, iron, textiles and plastics. Biodegradable waste, such as food waste or garden waste, is also recyclable with the assistance of micro-organisms through composting or anaerobic digestion. Many towns and villages have specified rules for recycling waste, so if you abide by their guidelines, you can also help the Earth. Simply get a few containers to place your aluminium, plastic and paper products in and then throw them in recycling facilities or place in the special bins some council supplies you with for your garden.
Although there may be some costs initially and inconvenience, the benefits of an environmentally friendly house can eventually be improved well being and along with a better planet, your bills will begin to go down. It is possible to be more environmentally friendly if your home needs to be decorated. Try to avoid paints containing VOCs, which are volatile organic compounds. To avoid toxic chemicals, you can use rubber-base paint.
Green Cleaning is a term used to describe cleaning methods that avoid toxic chemicals, some of which emit volatile organic compounds (VOCs) which may cause respiratory, dermatological and allergic relations. Not only is this important in the home but also in commercial settings where chemicals can have an adverse effect on worker health, morale and productivity. Many producers of commercially prepared green products also extend environmental principles to their manufacturing, packaging and distribution processes and ensure that their products are biodegradable.
The choices for greener living are now available from many of the main manufacturers. To do you bit towards becoming more eco friendly, there are some household items you could check out. Washing machines and dishwashers are now manufactured to be environmentally friendly by using less water with every cycle. We help the environment and reduce water costs in this manner, and there is even the ability to do this with toilets also. Appliances such as ovens can be made to work in a more environmentally friendly way. Star ratings indicate how environmentally friendly a home appliance is.
You may like to try some of these simple cleaning products in the home rather than buy a conventional cleaning product. Not only will they save you money but also provide health benefits to your family and lessen the chemical load on the environment.
- Vinegar and Bicarbonate of Soda makes an excellent and inexpensive cleaner in the bathroom
- Standard toothpaste can be used to clean silver jewellery
- Mirrors can be cleaned with warm soapy water and left smudge free after wiping with newspaper
- Surfaces can be kept mould free by spraying a diluted solution of water and oil of cloves