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View blog posts for category: Energy efficiency

Will solar PV power my underfloor heating?

Posted by Paul Hutchens on 20 May 2013 at 9:29 am

Will solar PV power my underfloor heating?

Q: We are having a 4kW solar pv system fitted. We are also considering electrical underfloor heating. After reading some very interesting pages on your site I am beginning to wonder if electrical underfloor heating is the best option as this will mainly run when it is dark? Is my thinking flawed …

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Old House Eco Handbook: a review

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 May 2013 at 11:15 am

Old House Eco Handbook: a review

Old houses can be green. This is the title of the first chapter of Old House Eco Handbook: a practical guide to retrofitting for energy-efficiency & sustainability by Marianne Suhr & Roger Hunt. It's an encouraging start, as not everyone believes it's possible, and as a result too…

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How LED lighting can cut commercial electricity bills

Posted by Paul Hutchens on 2 May 2013 at 9:27 am

How LED lighting can cut commercial electricity bills

LED provides a more efficient method of producing light than other bulbs. This efficiency is because LEDs (light emitting diodes) produce light via through the movement of electrons. In contrast, traditional bulbs pass an electric current through a thin wire, halogen bulbs produce light via the c…

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Why isn't draught-proofing EPC's number one recommendation?

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 29 April 2013 at 10:44 am

Why isn't draught-proofing EPC's number one recommendation?

Q: I've been wondering about how often the EPC suggests-draught proofing and extreme draught-proofing as the number 1 recommendation? 

Most homes built before the 1950s are really draughty, even if the new builds have low U values for walls, floors etc or good thick insulation, it is rat…

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Readers tips of the month - April 2013

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 April 2013 at 9:30 am

Readers tips of the month - April 2013

"Most cost effective measures are to improve thermal performance of property with good insulation generally," says architect Clinton. "But watch natural ventilation/airtightness to avoid condensation problems unless you are installing a mechanical ventilation system. Use as man…

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Infrared panel heating: your questions answered

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 19 April 2013 at 9:30 am

Infrared panel heating: your questions answered

What are infrared panels?  Infrared panels emit a very high ratio of heat as radiant heat. This heats objects directly, rather than warming the air (which is what convection heat does). Other examples of high-radiant heaters include portable halogen heaters, infrared outdoor patio heatin…

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I'm ringing on behalf of the government says rogue Green Deal company

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 8 April 2013 at 9:44 am

I'm ringing on behalf of the government says rogue Green Deal company

MPs receive more letters and emails about unwanted phone calls than anything else, culture minister Ed Vaizey told Parliament last week. Well Ed and my MP are about to get another one about the dodgy callers that pretend they are calling with the government's blessing. Last week I had a c…

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Radiator reflectors and boosters can keep you warmer

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 5 April 2013 at 4:21 pm

Radiator reflectors and boosters can keep you warmer

More efficient heating doesn’t always have to come with a big investment, as these two simple devices for your radiators show.  Radiator reflectors* work by reflecting the heat emitted from the back side of the radiator toward the wall back into the room. Depending on your circumst…

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How do I pay for energy efficiency improvements to my home?

Posted by Adam Hewson on 5 April 2013 at 12:36 pm

How do I pay for energy efficiency improvements to my home?

This is a very simple question and, a bit like Murphy’s Law, a pretty complicated answer. But, here are a few, hopefully helpful, thoughts. When we go to buy something, we all make conscious and subconscious decisions about why, when and how we do this. We often don’t realise that…

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Eco showerhead can save money, energy and water

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 4 April 2013 at 9:14 am

Eco showerhead can save money, energy and water

While most of us are aware that we’ll pay higher water bills for longer showers, many people don’t realise that heating water for taps and bathing represents close to a third of the average home’s heating bill, or around £200 per year (Energy Saving Trust). Simple water sa…

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Underfloor insulation can dramatically improve comfort

Posted by greentomatoenergy . on 2 April 2013 at 10:04 am

Underfloor insulation can dramatically improve comfort

Now that we’re (almost) through winter, we have had a number of calls from clients who felt the cold through their wooden floors and have asked us about insulating them. 
The first thing to say is that underfloor insulation can make a dramatic difference to comfort levels, particular…

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One way to find out where your home leaks heat and stay warm

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 28 March 2013 at 9:17 am

One way to find out where your home leaks heat and stay warm

Heat loss is one of the main causes of higher than necessary energy bills in the UK. In a survey NASA did of its buildings, 50% of heat loss was attributed to 5% of the surface area, what they referred to as like a prick in a balloon - all of the heat will eventually leave from even the smallest …

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Find out what it's like to live in an energy efficient home this weekend

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 15 March 2013 at 10:16 am

Find out what it's like to live in an energy efficient home this weekend

The owners of energy saving homes throw open the doors to the public from tomorrow as part of SuperHomes week (from 16-24 March 2013). This is your chance to see eco renovation at its best as pioneering owners offer tours of their homes. Admission is free and, wherever you live, there is probably…

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Why isn't energy efficiency higher up the business agenda?

Posted by Alison Griffiths on 12 March 2013 at 12:44 pm

Why isn't energy efficiency higher up the business agenda?

When the Government issued the UK’s Energy Efficiency Strategy in late 2012, the measures received broad support from many including the CBI. Designed to "maximise the benefits of existing policy and to realise the wider energy efficiency potential across the UK economy" the strat…

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Dishwasher vs hand washing: which is most energy efficient?

Posted by Ross Lammas on 6 March 2013 at 10:03 am

Dishwasher vs hand washing: which is most energy efficient?

A simple internet search shows that the dishwasher versus washing up by hand debate can be the subject of much debate and heated argument.  In the dishwasher’s favour, research carried out by Bonn University in 2003, found that, when used efficiently (ie run fully loaded) dishwashe…

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Win a home energy saving pack worth £157 in YouGen's photo competition

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 28 February 2013 at 9:22 am

Win a home energy saving pack worth £157 in YouGen's photo competition

There's a reason for the old maxim that a picture is worth a thousand words. While we write lots about how to save energy in your home and businesses, we think that the stories told by people who've done stuff and what inspires others to give it a go. And pictures tell a great story. …

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Readers tips of the month disagree about solar switching devices

Posted by NicoleYouGen on 28 February 2013 at 9:02 am

Readers tips of the month disagree about solar switching devices

This month, our readers have given some conflicting tips about solar heater switching devices. Ted from Cornwall installed an Immersun system to route surplus power from the solar panels into the immersion on the cylinder. He is happy and says ‘even in February the panels are…

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How solid wall insulation cut my energy bills to a fraction of the UK average

Posted by Eric Blakeley on 27 February 2013 at 9:10 am

How solid wall insulation cut my energy bills to a fraction of the UK average

My  house is mid-terrace with three bedrooms and is south facing. It was built in 1920. Our solid walls were exterior insulated under a government grant scheme for the over 70s three years ago. The insulation is 50mm Phenolic foam, rendered then painted. Electricity consumed from 9/11/20…

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Is the Green Deal right for me?

Posted by Chris Newman on 25 February 2013 at 9:13 am

Is the Green Deal right for me?

Here at Parity, we are getting more and more calls from people who start the conversation with some variation on the theme of “is the Green Deal any good for me?”. Given the bad press it’s had over recent weeks and months, you’d be forgiven for thinking that was a pretty e…

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Superhome status reached via 25 years of incremental home improvements

Posted by Keith Searle on 19 February 2013 at 3:20 pm

Superhome status reached via 25 years of incremental home improvements

I was interested in saving energy long before I had ever heard of Superhomes.  It just seemed like good old common-sense to me. My philosophy has always been to insulate first, reduce what you consume, and then worry about the power source.   A lot of the early work I did mysel…

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