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How do rainwater harvesting systems cope with frost and snow

Posted by Barry Nutley on 20 January 2010 at 9:07 am

How do rainwater harvesting systems cope with frost and snow

As the snow and frost begin to thaw we look at the impact that has on rainwater harvesting, and what to do about it. Underground tank: 1. As far as the tank, and any components housed within it are concerned, very little, if any, extra care is needed. The temperature of the ground at …

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What will 2010 bring for microgeneration?

Posted by Matthew Rhodes on 18 January 2010 at 9:39 am

What will 2010 bring for microgeneration?

I have a growing feeling that 2010 will mark a watershed in the development of microgeneration in the UK . The introduction of feed-in tariffs (FiTs) from April marks a sea change in established attitudes to small scale renewables, and a very belated attempt by the UK to catch up with the rest of…

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Is my roof too shaded for solar PV panels?

Posted by Chris Rudge on 14 January 2010 at 7:10 am

Is my roof too shaded for solar PV panels?

If you are thinking of having a solar electricity  system installed in 2010 to take advantage of the last chances of getting a lump sum grant before the Feed In Tariff starts in April, the first thing to do is look for a good location to install it. Traditionally for domestic Solar PV (photo…

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Close your curtains to keep warm (and reduce bills)

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 January 2010 at 1:21 pm

Close your curtains to keep warm (and reduce bills)

Walking home from a friend's house last night I was surprised to see how many people hadn't closed their curtains, despite sub zero temperatures. Hanging curtains, and closing them at dusk, can make a significant difference to the warmth of your house, and to how much you spend on hea…

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How to deal with snow on solar PV modules

Posted by Chris Rudge on 7 January 2010 at 11:36 am

How to deal with snow on solar PV modules

This past weeks little deluge of snow may have provided a nice seasonal blanket of white over your solar PV modules. While the glass in most modules has self cleaning properties, the adhesion of snow means it will cover the modules until the temperature rises. In the case of a ground mounted system,…

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Six steps to claiming £400 for a new boiler

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 6 January 2010 at 12:10 pm

Six steps to claiming £400 for a new boiler

Households with inefficient, old boilers (G-rated) can get £400 off the price of a new A-rated boiler thanks to the new boiler scrappage scheme launched yesterday by Gordon Brown and Ed Miliband. You can also put the money towards a renewable heating system such as a biomass boiler or heat pump. …

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Is it worth insulating under the floor boards?

Posted by Tim Pullen on 4 January 2010 at 12:20 pm

Is it worth insulating under the floor boards?

Around 15% of the heat leaving a house exits through the ground floor. And that does not account for the draughts coming up through the floor. So the simple answer is Yes - it is worth insulating under the floor boards. The problem is that, unless you have space to get under the floor boards, it …

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Happy Christmas

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 December 2009 at 12:21 pm

Happy Christmas

Seasons Greetings to all our visitors. Our office is now closed until the 4 January 2010. We look forward to seeing you again then. Photo by Jenny Downing …

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Give the gift of light this Christmas

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 18 December 2009 at 1:51 pm

Give the gift of light this Christmas

We talk about fuel poverty here in the UK, but it's nothing compared to places like Africa, where people spend 15 to 20% of their income on kerosene. Not only is it expensive, but kerosene is also the main source of poison in Africa. Solar power has the potential to bring the gift of light to ma…

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Can you heat a house with a wind turbine?

Posted by Graham Eastwick on 18 December 2009 at 9:39 am

Can you heat a house with a wind turbine?

A reader has asked if it is possible to heat a house with a wind turbine. The simple answer is that it is possible, but it's unlikely to be the best solution. Heating demand depends on the construction of the home and the weather. A home requiring a 13kW boiler will need a maximum of 13 x 24 kWh …

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Potential for energy bill savings are huge

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 16 December 2009 at 9:32 am

Potential for energy bill savings are huge

If new boilers were installed in all homes sold in a year, where recommended in the energy performance certificate, it would lead to total cash savings of almost £80 million on energy bills. On the same day last week that the Chancellor announced the boiler scrappage scheme in his pre-budget rep…

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The wettest winter for years

Posted by Barry Nutley on 14 December 2009 at 10:20 am

The wettest winter for years

With all the rain we've had recently, it's difficult to convince people that water really is in short supply for some of us. However, what we need to consider is where does it all go, and why, if it's so wet, is it scarce? To answer those questions very briefly: 1. Population is increasing, as…

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Win a GEO Minim Home Energy Hub

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 11 December 2009 at 4:56 pm

Win a GEO Minim Home Energy Hub

YouGen will be giving away a GEO Minim Home Energy Hub every month for the next year, to thank people who recommend their renewable energy installer on the site. Everyone who makes a recommendation in the month will be entered in the draw. We're especially pleased to be able to offer a Mi…

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Back UK jobs, innovation and manufacturing through renewable energy

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 December 2009 at 10:25 am

Back UK jobs, innovation and manufacturing through renewable energy

With the announcement of the final feed-in tariff rates postponed until (probably mid) January, a frenzy of lobbying has erupted for a more ambitious settlement that will deliver more renewable energy, and more British jobs in manufacturing and installing. If you want to join in, here are some sugge…

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Test may lead to fall in cost of running a fridge

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 8 December 2009 at 9:52 am

Test may lead to fall in cost of running a fridge

Fridges and freezers tend are some of the most expensive home appliances to run,  and least energy efficient, as they constantly draw electricity. A new trial aims to manage the amount of electricity used to reduce carbon emissions associated with fridge use.  Appliances fitted with dyn…

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Solar PV industry uncertainty as grants pot runs out

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 4 December 2009 at 9:23 am

Solar PV industry uncertainty as grants pot runs out

The solar industry faces another phase of uncertainty as the grants money to support installation of photovoltaic panels in public sector buildings and charities has run out again. The Low Carbon Buildings Programme Phase 2 grant pot was topped up with £35m earlier this year, of which £13m was …

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An introduction to solid wall insulation

Posted by Tim Pullen on 3 December 2009 at 2:13 pm

An introduction to solid wall insulation

A third of the heat lost from a house is through the walls according to the Energy Saving Trust. An uninsulated, 225mm solid brick wall will have a U-value of 2.23W/m2. Adding just 50mm of PUR (Kingspan or similar) insulation will reduce that to just 0.4W/m2. Bear in mind that the current buildin…

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Pedal power

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 1 December 2009 at 10:46 am

Pedal power

I've written before about how difficult it is to get a grip on energy, and understand how much it takes to do different things. Well, you really find out when you try to power a whole house for 24 hours just using cycle power. Luckily for those of us whose muscles don't  feel up to the task,…

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Prices vary hugely between renewable energy installers

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 27 November 2009 at 11:17 am

Prices vary hugely between renewable energy installers

Prices for renewable energy installations vary wildly, making buying decisions difficult for homeowners, according to Power from the People, a new study by researchers at Oxford University’s Environmental Change Institute. In addition, there is little correlation between price and the gener…

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Feed-in rate announcement may be delayed

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 November 2009 at 4:07 pm

Feed-in rate announcement may be delayed

The much awaited results of the consultation on feed-in tariffs may take a little longer than hoped. Internal wrangling between government departments is to blame according to the Guardian, and it's not clear when we're going to find out. Ed Milliband had apparently hoped to have the policy i…

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