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View blog posts for category: Energy saving

Solar PV does count towards new energy efficiency criteria

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 February 2012 at 10:58 am

Solar PV does count towards new energy efficiency criteria

Buildings must meet strict energy efficiency criteria from 1 April to qualify for the full level of feed-in tariff. When the government announced the change earlier this month it was not clear whether or not the solar PV installation would count towards the Energy Performance Certificate level D or …

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Energy efficiency criteria for solar PV feed-in tariff lacks clarity

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 February 2012 at 12:42 pm

NB: The position is now clear. Solar PV will count towards EPC level D. Click here to read more. It's not clear whether or not newly installed solar PV panels are included in the new energy efficiency requirement of the feed-in tariff. The government has confirmed that a level D energy perfo…

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How to maximise the benefit of secondary glazing

Posted by Simon Forsyth on 2 February 2012 at 9:35 am

How to maximise the benefit of secondary glazing

Q: Our property is old and the windows are not double glazed but made of oak and have 6 - 8 panes per each half of the window. Any ideas about secondary double glazing appreciated. A: Thinking back to first principles, the aim is to stop 'coolth' getting into the room - draughts of c…

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Act now: insulation will never be so cheap again

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 19 January 2012 at 9:03 am

Act now: insulation will never be so cheap again

Loft and cavity wall insulation have been heavily subsidised for years now, but this year, the carbon emission reduction scheme (CERT) comes to an end, to be replaced by a loan scheme (the green deal). Insulation is the number one thing that will make your house warmer and more comfortable - and red…

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How can we stop heat loss from our bay window?

Posted by Tim Pullen on 13 January 2012 at 9:31 am

How can we stop heat loss from our bay window?

Q: Hi we have a semi-detached 1950s bay fronted house and the only part not insulated is the upstairs bay (which sounds like it's made of wattle and daub!) and the flat roof above the bay. The flat roof part is perhaps 3 inches deep only, and covered with lead. Despite the radiator being in the bay,…

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Vote for your favourite

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 December 2011 at 12:18 pm

Vote for your favourite

We asked for your stories on how you've managed to keep warm at home while spending less. This week we published the five shortlisted stories, and we're asking you, our readers, to choose the winner (they will get a Black & Decker thermal heat detector). These are the blogs: DIY double gla…

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DIY double glazing solves chills in a Victorian semi

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 December 2011 at 9:33 am

DIY double glazing solves chills in a Victorian semi

'My wife and I moved into our new home with baby and toddler in tow some six years ago,' writes Dan Saniaszek. 'I say “new”, but in reality it was a late Victorian semi.  Thankfully, not a draughty and cold horror story, but still a long way from being energy efficient.  Over the years…

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Secondary glazing for sash windows cuts cost and increases comfort

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 December 2011 at 9:55 am

Secondary glazing for sash windows cuts cost and increases comfort

'I bought my existing house in 2009 and, although the walls had been well insulated in 1994 by the developer with 100mm expanded polystyrene fitted between the studs, there were improvements that could be made,' writes Brian John Griffiths, one of our shortlisted contributors. 'Firstly, I topped …

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How we reduced electricity consumption from 10,000 to 1,500kwh a year

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 14 December 2011 at 8:40 am

How we reduced electricity consumption from 10,000 to 1,500kwh a year

"Around the time our second one was on his way and my office at home needed to get converted back to a bedroom for his sister, I was struck by how much energy I was wasting," writes Damon Hart-Davis, one of our shortlisted contributors. 'The single biggest improvement in energy efficiency that I …

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Suffolk community take action to reduce heating costs

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 13 December 2011 at 11:39 am

Suffolk community take action to reduce heating costs

'We live in Walpole, a small village in north Suffolk. It has approximately 240 residents, but lost its pubs, shops and village school years ago,' writes Anne Thomas, one of our shortlisted contributors. 'About 2 years ago, the Parish Council (for Cookley and Walpole - Cookley has approximately 8…

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Freezers: out of sight, out of mind, and eating electricity

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 December 2011 at 9:49 am

Freezers: out of sight, out of mind, and eating electricity

'Now here is a serious energy saver,' writes David Ham, one of our shortlisted contributors. 'For years we have run without question - out of sight out of mind - two modestly sized freezers purchased probably 15 years ago. Over the summer with no heating on I questioned why our utility room always …

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Help us choose the best energy efficiency case study

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 9 December 2011 at 2:18 pm

Help us choose the best energy efficiency case study

Next week we will publish the five shortlisted stories in our competition for the best practical energy efficiency stories submitted by a YouGen visitor.  We’ll post a new one up each day, and we hope you will let us know which you think deserves to win. You can do that by adding a comment be…

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Homebuyer & sellers' guide to reading an EPC: part 2

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 25 November 2011 at 10:30 am

Homebuyer & sellers' guide to reading an EPC: part 2

Energy performance certificate (EPC) gives information that can be very helpful to both homebuyers and homesellers, but only if you know what to do with it. This article should be read in conjunction with previous guides to reading page one of the EPC for the buyers and renters, and for sellers. I w…

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Reducing your energy bills: how to find efficient appliances

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 23 November 2011 at 9:20 am

Reducing your energy bills: how to find efficient appliances

How we buy and use electrical appliances in the home has a significant impact on how much electricity we consume - and thus, how high our bills are. So how do we make sure that we buy the most efficient appliance for our needs? With difficulty, it seems, according to The Elephant in the Living Ro…

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Products are more energy efficient, yet household electricity use is going up

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 November 2011 at 10:20 am

Products are more energy efficient, yet household electricity use is going up

Despite buying more energy-efficient products than ever before, energy use in the home is on the rise. This is because we are using more gadgets than we used to, and we are using them differently. In a new report, The Elephant in the Living Room, the Energy Saving Trust (EST) points out that: "w…

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How to stop draughts coming through your floor boards: a case study

Posted by Gilly Jones on 18 November 2011 at 8:34 am

How to stop draughts coming through your floor boards: a case study

As I have no DIY skills to speak of, I was particularly pleased with my recent effort to reduce the draughts whistling through the floor boards in my newly revamped bathroom. After a bit of research on the Internet, I sceptically ordered a roll of StopGap, a flexible springy plastic strip which…

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My top five energy saving tips

Posted by Adrian Wright on 3 November 2011 at 3:03 am

My top five energy saving tips

1) Insulate!! Insulation is a no brainer. Why allow all of that expensive heat to escape through your walls and roof when you can receive grant funding from energy suppliers to have your home professionally insulated?  Enact Energy can now do this for you completely free of charg…

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How to bring sunlight into a dark room

Posted by Tim Pullen on 28 October 2011 at 8:51 am

How to bring sunlight into a dark room

Q: Are solar tubes a good idea? A: Solar tubes – also known as sun pipes, sun tunnels or light pipes – could also be called remote windows (but they are not). They are a way of bringing daylight to rooms or spaces with no natural lighting. They consist of a light collector – essential…

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Keep warm; spend less

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 24 October 2011 at 5:28 am

Keep warm; spend less

Being cold is miserable. Yet, as energy prices rocket, lots of people will be cold this winter. The dominant narrative about how to get round this focuses on knocking the big six energy companies, and urges us to swap supplier to find a lower price. While I don't argue with this, it's also a grea…

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Are carbon savings from CERT as big as they seem?

Posted by Adrian Wright on 15 September 2011 at 5:21 am

Are carbon savings from CERT as big as they seem?

Ofgem has just released a report summarising the activity of the last three years of the Carbon Emission Reduction Target (CERT). This four year scheme requires energy suppliers to reduce CO2 emissions by 292 million tonnes from homes in Britain or receive a huge fine. The activities the energy …

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