Archive for the ‘Energy Efficiency’ Category

Saving Energy – Tips for Businesses

Energy efficiency is very much a current issue in the modern world. We want our homes to be energy-efficient because it saves us money and is good for the environment. However, we should also want our businesses to be eco-friendly and energy-efficient too. The reasons behind this desire are very similar to those from domestic backgrounds, but being able to lay claim to an energy-efficient status will also boost your reputation and social standing, which is never a bad thing.

Energy Efficiency

With energy efficiency on the agenda for all of us, there is no shortage of ways for businesses to pursue energy efficiency, but there are plenty of methods that are really worth emphasising. Here are a few of the best energy saving tips that we can recommend to you:

Turn off the Lights

You’re probably sick of hearing about this, but turning off the lights is the cornerstone of an energy-efficient business. Seriously, you can save 75% of the energy you use by just switching to energy-efficient light bulbs, so imagine what you’ll save by turning them off when you don’t need them. 50% of commercial building expenditure is usually down to lighting, so do something about that.

Turn off the Power

Again, another oldie, yet still a goodie, power down any equipment that you’re not using. That means things like computers, printers and other devices. Just having the screen savers on won’t cut it; turn them off when you leave. You could even consider Smart Strip power chords to regulate power or lessen the energy that electronics still use when they’re (technically) inactive. It all adds up.

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Use the Landscape

You may think that eco landscaping would fit well under a heading of ‘eco-friendly’, but looks less suited to an article on energy efficiency. Not so! Having things like trees near your building can reduce the temperature by as much as 6°, so if your business builds up a lot of heat then trees can do wonders for cutting down on your cooling bills. That’s definitely energy saved.

Heating and Cooling

Moving onto heating and cooling, these two facilities (along with lighting) form the bulk of business expenditure, so energy efficiency in this area is key. Turning down the heating and the air conditioning will obviously do the trick, but you’ll also need to keep all of your systems maintained too. Nothing leaks energy more than a struggling HVAC system.

Ask the Experts

Sometimes, you’ll need a helping hand to cut energy in your specific business area, so never be too proud to ask for advice. Assimilate Systems can help factories and plants to optimise energy usage, and there are similar options for cost-cutting and the like throughout all business sectors. There’s only so much you can do on your own, so if you want to do a really thorough job, call in the experts!

Energy efficiency is good for your business in so many ways that it really isn’t a question of ‘will you comply?’, but is instead a matter of ‘when will you comply?’ Sometimes, fostering high standards can feel a bit like ticking boxes for the sake of it for little reward, but being energy-efficient doesn’t fall into such a category. You’ll soon see numerous benefits, so what are you waiting for?

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Historic Home, Energy Efficient

Do you live in a beautifully traditional home, but wonder how to improve energy efficiency without losing the charm and historical character of its features?

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As an owner of a time-honoured property, it should be your aim to enhance its traditional features, whilst reducing its impact on the environment. Whether a first time buyer of a historical home, or a restorer of all builds classic – here is a quick guide to improve the property’s energy efficiency whilst preserving its charming style and sought-after characteristics.

Make it weatherproof

Although it may seem obvious, a good door and a good set of windows can do wonders for your home’s energy usage and bill costs. Many traditional homes will come with beautiful, yet poor quality window and door designs, so if you want to notice an improving change in your home’s current bill costs – we recommend that replacing your windows and doors should be your main priority before commencing any other building work.

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Here is a great article demonstrating the reasons why you should replace wooden windows rather than renovating. This can prove far more beneficial over time; after all, you’ll soon recover the initial cost of installation through your new and affordable bill prices! Hurray!

When considering replacing your historic windows with contemporary yet aesthetically traditional window options, you should consider a bespoke joinery company such as Bentley Brothers that offer unique and experienced service with both modern and traditional builds and work to enhance a property’s original design and features. There is nothing worse than replacing beautiful and characteristic windows with a modern-day style and non-complementing design. Modern technologies and contemporary sash window design can provide your home with beautifully crafted and time-honoured window and door designs as well as providing high quality sealant, air infiltration and durable material use to improve your home’s energy efficiency in style.

Insulate it

Because heat rises, the majority of a home’s heat is lost through the top half of a property. Insulating your loft, attic or even flat roof is a simple and cost-effective way to save on waste and reduce your heating bills, and you can even insulate your home yourself!

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Loft insulation has been an effective way of making your home more energy efficient for years, and often pays for itself within a short space of time. Check out how much money you could save by insulating your home. If you don’t fancy yourself as the DIY type, get the professionals in! Many companies such as Apex Green can insulate your home and advise you on how to ‘go green’ with your home and living.

Go green!

The government is now offering ‘The Green Deal’ plan, which helps you make energy-saving improvements to your home and offers the best options in order to pay for them. These options may include insulation, heating, double-glazing, renewable energy generation and heating improvements to provide your home with a greener way of living.

If you are interested in finding out if your home could benefit from any energy-saving improvements, check out the energy grants calculator or contact a Green Deal assessor direct.

Making your traditional home an energy-efficient property may seem like a challenge, but in fact, with a little planning and simple weather-proofing tasks – any historic build can quickly become a modern and environmentally friendly home with charming characteristics of the past.

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Save Energy, The Planet and Money

No matter what your standpoint is on environmental energy production both environmentalists and ordinary consumers can all agree that their energy bills are growing at an alarming rate.

There are many factors that govern the price of our energy and to some extent they are beyond the scope of this blog. What is being discussed here is how we can all do our bit for the planet and our pockets by adopting energy efficient lifestyles.

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Do an Energy Audit

Perhaps the best way of starting to save money is to study each room of the house identifying appliances and goods are left on when not in use. Leaving products on standby or continuously on charge is not good practice. Following the 10 energy saving tips that you can see on this page of Energy Saving Trust website will help you as you do your energy use audit.

Switch to Efficient Appliances

The cost of buying a new appliance just because of its energy efficiency rating will, in nearly all cases outweighs the amount they will save you in energy usage. However, when an appliance becomes unserviceable and needs to be replaced, you should choose one with a good energy efficiency rating. Even if the more energy efficient appliance has a higher purchase price over a less efficient model, it will save you money in the long term. For more information, this Which? consumer website article has a good explanation of energy efficiency ratings for appliances.

A good source of advice on electrical efficiency in your home can be provided by electrical installers such as DKP Electrics who can install devices to help you manage your energy usage, including photo voltaic solar panels to harvest electrical energy from sunlight.

Smart Meters

The Government plans for every home in the UK to have a ‘Smart Meter’ installed by the end of 2019. The advantages of smart meters include not having to have someone call to take a meter reading and in terms of energy usage they provide real time feedback on the amount of energy consumption and the cost of energy. This can help consumer make changes to the way they use their energy. More information on smart meters is available on this page of the Energy Saving Trust website.

This Telegraph website article suggests that our bills have grown by 30% in the last three years. Increases of this magnitude are putting real pressure on the budgets of UK households. Why not give some of the measures mentioned above a try and see how much you can reduce your electricity bill by?

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Green Heating

Heating your home can be a costly venture, and sometimes it’s not just your pocket that gets stung. The knock on effect when it comes to the environment can be potentially devastating. It may not seem like much when you think about it on an individual level, but nationally the effect is much, much bigger. If we all just thought about the way we use energy in our homes, and did something about it, then we could end up saving both the planet and a sizeable amount of money. Check out the blog below to see how you can keep your heating bills down and your green credentials up.

Boilers
One of the first things you’ll want to do is check your boiler. Supplying almost all the heat to your house, the more efficient you can make it, the more money you’ll save, and the less damage you’ll do. It’s worth checking out what savings replacing your boiler could net you, both financially and environmentally. If it looks as if your boiler needs replacing then you can follow that up with a trip to USwitch to get a great guide to compare and contrast all the different variables. Lastly, find a quality, reputable dealer to supply your new energy-efficient boiler.

Fires
It’s no longer older houses that have fires and flues these days, as many modern builds incorporate contemporary fireplace designs as an attractive focal point. Electric fires are incredibly environmentally friendly but can often lack the je ne sais quoi of the real thing or even gas fires. If you’re set on keeping your real fire (and they do possess an inherent romantic quality that is exceedingly hard to part with) then be sure to see what you can do to make yourself a little greener. However, for the truly eco-conscious, visit www.smartfireuk.com. Smartfire specialise in smokeless, clean burning fires that burn bio-ethanol. This combines the romanticism of a real fire with ecological and environmental responsibility to produce greener fires without ever compromising on style or aesthetics. Check out the video below for more information.

Bits and Bobs
Boilers and fires might be the big ideas, but often people can overlook how they can help out and save money with just a few simple tricks. Invest in some draft excluders for your thresholds, as well some thick rubber weather strips to line your doors and windows. You can also consider some less obvious solutions, like radiator foil. Radiator foil is the simple but ingenious solution to getting the most out of your radiators, as the highly reflective surface channels all the heat from the back of the radiator into the room, instead of it going to waste by seeping into the wall.

Heating doesn’t have to cost the earth, in more ways than one. By utilising advances in modern technology you can make the most of boilers and fires, and once you add a little common sense into the mix too you can really begin to feel the benefits without breaking the bank. Best of all you do your bit for the planet too, so it’s a really a win-win all round!

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Saving the Environment / Saving Money

Fuel and energy have become regular topics in articles on the national TV news and in the newspapers. Most articles focus on the spiralling costs of energy and the problems faced by low income households who are enduring fuel poverty. What the articles seem to miss out is the reason why fuel prices are so high. Although there are many factors that regulate fuel price, the main reason is rooted in supply and demand. There world energy suppliers are struggling to meet the demand for energy of all types.

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In the UK the Chancellor has made incentives via his budget encourage us to adopt environment friendly energy usage. Although the scheme has now closed there was a grant available to those who wished to install high efficiency combination boilers, photo voltaic solar panels (electricity generation) and solar panel heating systems. These systems all use energy in more efficient ways and in some cases can make generate enough energy to power the entire house. The benefits of adopting energy efficient systems in the home is discussed further on the energy saving trust website

Vehicles registered after 2001 have a road fund licence (car tax) that is based upon the CO2 levels of their exhaust emissions. You can find out what tax band you vehicle falls into based on its emissions on the direct.gov website. The latest fuel efficient cars benefit from very low tax or are even tax exempt.

High emissions vehicles, such as commercial diesel vans face some of the highest rates of road fund licence. This makes it essential that businesses with fleets of vehicles adopt as many fuel saving measures as possible. Buying in fuel wholesale is a better option than purchasing fuel at regular filling stations. There can be real savings made from buying fuel in bulk and dispensing it onsite. Investing in a fuel tank for diesel storage not only allows bulk buying but also means that fuel usage can be monitored.

Filling up vehicles onsite means that the fuel usage of individual vehicles can be tracked. Using some clever technologies like those provided by fuel management  companies allows data capture of amounts of fuel drawn and mileage of individual vehicles.

Whether in the home or in business it is encouraging to see that measures to make the most out of the energy that we use are being adopted. It might be the most welcome news, but high prices for energy are here to stay. We have to adapt to use less energy for the sake of the planet and for the sake of our pocket.

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