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View blog posts for category: Energy efficiency

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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How to optimise electricity supply in your business

Posted by Paul Hutchens on 18 February 2013 at 9:33 am

How to optimise electricity supply in your business

There are a number of technologies available to cut energy demand and reduce electricity bills for businesses. The first that I would like to talk about is one that optimises and harmonises your electricity supply. It is relatively straightforward and very robust technology with few moving parts.…

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Readers tips of the month - January 2013

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 29 January 2013 at 10:35 am

Readers tips of the month - January 2013

Keeping warm is a bit of a theme for this month's tips. Mark Griffiths lives in a solid-wall 1930s house and works from home. He writes: " we brought in a company to help us dry-line part of our home office - an upstairs bedroom. We lost ten inches of space, but gained immensely in heat …

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Will cavity wall insulation prevent condensation?

Posted by greentomatoenergy . on 28 January 2013 at 3:14 pm

Will cavity wall insulation prevent condensation?

Q: I have what I believe to be a condensation problem in a bungalow bedroom semi outside wall. I have been offered free cavity wall insulation but a proper survey ( checking cavity snots) was not done. Would cavity wall insulation if done/surveyed correctly prevent condensation and who could I tr…

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Let's not kill the Green Deal with negativity before it's had a chance

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 28 January 2013 at 10:05 am

Let's not kill the Green Deal with negativity before it's had a chance

Today, at last, the Green Deal is open for business. I struggle to think of any proposal that's been so talked about (and so derided) before it even started. So it's not surprising that its launch has been met with a tide of negativity too: it's not ambitious enough say some. Others f…

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Why energy efficiency is important in non-domestic buildings

Posted by Paul Hutchens on 25 January 2013 at 9:16 am

Why energy efficiency is important in non-domestic buildings

The rising costs of energy in the UK are a major concern for businesses and households. 68% of the UK's biggest companies regard 'improving operational energy efficiency' as a 'major opportunity' for their business according to research carried out last year by Green Monday in…

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Green Deal: Deal of the day or deal of the decade?

Posted by Adam Hewson on 24 January 2013 at 9:06 am

Green Deal: Deal of the day or deal of the decade?

For those of you who are reasonably well read on all things energy efficiency and renewables, you could be forgiven for being confused about the success of the Green Deal. A simple search will give a plethora of articles, forum comments and blogs about the subject but my guess is that 80-90% woul…

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Use carbon tax to eliminate fuel poverty, PM told

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 January 2013 at 5:17 pm

Use carbon tax to eliminate fuel poverty, PM told

We're pleased to be one of the 100 signatories sent to Prime Minister – The Rt Hon David Cameron MP yesterday. If you agree, then please sign the Energy Bill Revolution petition, and tell your friends about it too. Dear Prime Minister Millions of households across the UK will st…

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What is thermal bridging in insulation, and should I worry about it?

Posted by Chris Newman on 22 January 2013 at 2:10 pm

What is thermal bridging in insulation, and should I worry about it?

Q: I've been told to watch out for thermal bridges in solid wall insulation. What does that mean? A: Thermal bridging is often talked about as a major concern for anyone who has an interest in making their property more energy efficient, but what does the term mean? Put simply, it that oc…

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Consumer protection in the Green Deal 3: EPC standard occupancy

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 18 January 2013 at 10:38 am

The previous instalment of my blog about Consumer Protection in Green Deal covered Green Deal Finance and the role of Green Deal Advisor.  I explained the Golden Rule, and how it depends on the calculated cost savings from installing the energy efficiency measure. We saw that the cost saving…

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15 more measures added to Green Deal as launch date looms

Posted by Pete Roberts on 17 January 2013 at 9:56 am

The long awaited and much heralded Green Deal is fast approaching. The soft launch of the Green Deal took place on 1 October 2012 and the first Green Deal finance plans will be signed on 28 January 2013. Over the past few months, installers, advisors, advisory services and providers have bee…

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Planning permission not needed for (most) external solid wall insulation

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 14 January 2013 at 9:04 am

Planning permission not needed for (most) external solid wall insulation

In a welcome bit of joined-up government thinking, the departments of energy and climate change and of communities and local government have clarified that the installation of external solid wall insulation constitutes an 'improvement' to a house rather than an 'enlargement' or &#…

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Gas or electric heater with solar panels?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 20 December 2012 at 11:25 am

Gas or electric heater with solar panels?

Q: In discussions of draught proofing a room I realise that a lot of heat must be drawn up the flue behind my gas fire & therefore wasted due to its inevitable escape to the environment. Would it be worth it to replace my gas fire in the lounge by an electric fire with resultant minimal loss …

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Is fleece or board best for underfloor insulation?

Posted by greentomatoenergy . on 14 December 2012 at 10:37 am

Is fleece or board best for underfloor insulation?

Q: Underfloor insulation: good access to 126sq m underfloor but joist widths vary from 32 to 40cm. Fleece or boards best? (it arrived via Twitter, hence the brevity) A: In terms of insulation there's little to choose between them: insulation boards are generally thinner for the same perfo…

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How to get the best out of solid wall insulation

Posted by Chris Newman on 10 December 2012 at 10:45 am

How to get the best out of solid wall insulation

A few years back, it would be common to hear people say “I’ve got solid walls so there’s not a lot I can do about them”. With over a third of our houses having solid walls (or ‘hard to treat’ cavities), that represented a big slice of the UK’s domesti…

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Consumer protection in the Green Deal 2: green deal finance

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 3 December 2012 at 10:19 am

In this second instalment of my blog about Consumer Protection in Green Deal, we’ll cover Green Deal Finance, and particularly the Golden Rule and savings estimates, and the role of Green Deal Advisors in explaining this to their customer.    The Advisor needs to …

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5 small tweaks for a greener (more energy efficient) lifestyle

Posted by Cindy Liu on 19 November 2012 at 9:38 am

5 small tweaks for a greener (more energy efficient) lifestyle

As a member of a younger generation, I feel that I’m far more acutely aware of just how much our lifestyle choices and energy consumption affects environmental change and global warming. For me, there’s definitely enough scientific evidence to suggest that if we don’t change the…

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Do you know what the best options are for improving the energy efficiency of your home?

Posted by Chris Newman on 9 November 2012 at 8:37 am

Do you know what the best options are for improving the energy efficiency of your home?

With winter approaching and energy prices rising again, you may be thinking about how to make your home warmer. But where do you start?  Our mantra at Parity is that every “home is different”, and by that we don’t just mean the physics of the house, we mean th…

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How to measure your energy consumption

Posted by greentomatoenergy . on 6 November 2012 at 2:19 pm

How to measure your energy consumption

Most householders are made aware of the energy efficiency of their home using energy performance certificate (EPC) ratings. While EPC ratings are relatively simple and are useful for providing high level information, they are not very transparent, not possible to measure without outside help and…

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Free, comprehensive guide to farm energy saving

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 5 November 2012 at 9:57 am

Free, comprehensive guide to farm energy saving

Keeping the costs of energy down is a must for most farms, but the challenge is often knowing where to start. As in most businesses it's easy to let the urgent take priority over the important, but as the writers of a detailed new guide to energy efficiency say, if you don't start planning change no…

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Ten top tips to reduce the cost of running your fridge-freezer

Posted by Ross Lammas on 26 October 2012 at 10:57 am

Ten top tips to reduce the cost of running your fridge-freezer

Virtually every modern appliance we use runs on electricity, but the biggest consumer is the refrigerator. Fridges and freezers are found in almost every single home in the country, and they collectively use over £1.2 billion worth of electricity each year. Refrigerators require so much …

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DECC announces cashback scheme to incentivise energy saving improvements

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 22 October 2012 at 2:59 pm

DECC announces cashback scheme to incentivise energy saving improvements

Householders making energy saving improvements to their home will be able to claim up to half the cost back under a new cashback scheme. The government has put aside £125m to help kick start its flagship Green Deal scheme which will provide finance for energy efficiency measures from 28 January nex…

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