Whatever type of home you live in, we all have to pay bills for heating, lighting and water. It is costly to run a home so here are some ways you can make your home more energy efficient, including options for installing environmental technologies by a trained installer.
We are all being encouraged by Government to reduce our carbon footprint and look at the different ways we can do this. Later this year, the Government will launch its innovative Green Deal, providing a number of financial incentives we as homeowners can benefit from. These mechanisms will enable you to have work carried out and completed on your home without having to pay for the work upfront. There are a number of schemes which are covered by the various environmental technologies available, each with their own strengths and benefits, depending upon the property type you live in. Even if you are living in rented accommodation, private landlords will also have access to these financial incentives so you will be able benefit from the environmental technologies available.
Environmental technologies vary and include air and ground source heat pumps, biomass, micro-combined heat and power (CHP), micro/small scale wind turbines, micro-hydropower turbine systems, rainwater harvesting systems, grey water reuse systems, solar thermal and solar photovoltaics (PV).
The key schemes available to homeowners include Feed-in Tariffs (FiTs) which will help you reduce your electricity bills and the Renewable Heat Incentive scheme (RHI) which can provide a reduction in your heating bills. The schemes work in a similar way and you will be paid by pence per unit of the energy generated. The Renewable Heat Premium Payment (RHPP) scheme is a voucher based plan that can help homeowners and community groups. To be eligible for any of these financial incentives, the system(s) you choose must be installed by someone who is certified by the Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS).
Before considering which type of environmental technology to choose, there are a number of measures you can consider, assuming your home is in a sound condition. First, look at how you can reduce the building’s energy demand – this can include taking showers instead of baths, closing doors and windows when the heating is in use, not leaving appliances on or in standby mode etc. All these ways will reduce the energy demand on your home.
The next step is to improve the energy efficiency of your home. Simple and easy ways include adding or increasing and loft/wall insulation, fitting low energy light bulbs, fitting draught proofing and installing double glazing, for example. Only then is it worth considering and investing in the various environmental technologies available to reduce your household bills and make a difference to the environment. This overall approach is referred to as ‘fabric first’.
The Government aims to reduce our yearly carbon emissions by 15% between now and 2020. The Green Deal and the other financial incentives can only be assessed through a Green Deal Provider (GDP) who will then access your home and put you in touch with an authorised trained installer who will have been certified by the MCS. In order to be eligible for the Green Deal your home will need to meet the ‘Golden Rule’ – the expected saving from the improvement measure (i.e. the environmental technology installed) must be equal to or greater than the cost of the measure.
We all live in homes and we all use energy this is the way to do your bit and to help achieve this goal, we can adopt a ‘fabric first’ approach and use trained installers to fit environmental technologies into our homes.