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View blog posts for category: Energy saving

Money isn't the only motivator for energy efficiency retrofits

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 August 2011 at 9:06 am

Money isn't the only motivator for energy efficiency retrofits

Improved comfort, home improvement and rising energy costs were all motivating factors in encouraging people to improve the energy efficiency of their home, as well the resulting savings in their energy bills. These are the findings of a pilot project undertaken by the London Borough of Sutton, B…

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Incentives, education and more power to the consumer are the way forward for successful energy efficiency retrofit

Posted by Matthew Rhodes on 27 July 2011 at 9:45 am

Incentives, education and more power to the consumer are the way forward for successful energy efficiency retrofit

I was astonished to discover today that I last blogged about Retrofit for the Future over 18 months ago, in October 2009, when I was optimistic about the scheme and the way it seemed to be mobilising the whole sector to think about innovation and change. Since then Encraft has been lucky enough t…

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Ashden Awards winner lists ways to increase uptake of retrofit

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 18 July 2011 at 10:20 am

Ashden Awards winner lists ways to increase uptake of retrofit

Hampshire-based Radian housing association won the Gold at this year's Ashden Awards, for an ambitious and innovative programme of retrofitting hard-to-treat homes and building eco-homes that far exceed the current minimum standards for energy efficiency. Paul Ciniglio, Radian's sustainability a…

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Smart meter introduction moves into phase 2

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 14 July 2011 at 11:31 am

Smart meter introduction moves into phase 2

Mass installation of smart meters into every house and business in the UK is planned to start in 2014 and complete in 2019. Between now and then, 'early mover' suppliers such as British Gas will begin installing smart meters as part of a testing and foundation phase of the plan. Smart meters will…

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Why bother optimise voltage?

Posted by Matt Cody on 13 July 2011 at 9:12 am

Why bother optimise voltage?

This is an often-asked question. The simple answer is that it prevents energy waste that virtually all homes in the UK suffer as a result of electricity typically being provided at the higher end of the statutory range - and therefore saves energy, reduces carbon emissions and saves money. …

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EPCs should make financial benefits clearer says Consumer Focus

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 30 June 2011 at 12:08 pm

EPCs should make financial benefits clearer says Consumer Focus

Clarity, credibility and comparability are key if EPCs are to be meaningful for consumers, and lead to them increasing the energy efficiency of their home, according to a new report from Consumer Focus. Published today, Easy as EPC looks at the content and format of the Energy Performance Certificat…

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Can wooden doors be as energy efficient as uPVC?

Posted by Tim Pullen on 27 June 2011 at 10:05 am

Can wooden doors be as energy efficient as uPVC?

Q: I need to fit a new back door and want to make it as energy efficient as possible, but my carpenter seems a bit ignorant about what is the best way to go about this. I want to install a wooden door, not uPVC. Should I fit a sill? Or will it rot? It will sit on concrete. Or is one of those brush …

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Small companies in danger of being excluded from Green Deal delivery

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 16 June 2011 at 1:22 pm

Small companies in danger of being excluded from Green Deal delivery

There's concern that the Green Deal will be the preserve of a few big companies, unless its structure is carefully designed to let small companies in. This was one of the issues highlighted at a debate on the Green Deal at yesterday's Ashden Awards conference. Plain speaking was the order of …

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Renewable energy may be included in the Green Deal

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 June 2011 at 9:08 am

Renewable energy may be included in the Green Deal

The Government's announcement last week on measures being considered for inclusion in the Green Deal, and its thinking on consumer protection, went some way to allay criticisms of the scheme. The Green Deal is expected to offer loans of up to £10,000 over a period of up to 25 years. To qualify f…

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Does the g-save reduce gas bills?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 26 April 2011 at 11:26 am

Does the g-save reduce gas bills?

I've been testing the g-save economiser since the end of November last year. As described previously, it is a widget that claims to save up to 30% on your gas bill - but does it work? Well, I'm afraid that even after three and a half month's testing the jury is still out. I've got gas meter readi…

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Look at a property's energy efficiency before you rent

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 20 April 2011 at 1:05 am

Look at a property's energy efficiency before you rent

While the snow was on the ground at the start of the year, I carried out an Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) on a house in a pleasant street in a rural Buckinghamshire village, prior to its owner marketing it for let. Specifically, this house is in the most northerly village in the county, ri…

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Buildings don't use energy: people do

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 April 2011 at 10:46 am

Buildings don't use energy: people do

Smart buildings aren't the solution to reducing energy use, smart people are, according to research by Kathryn Janda of the UK Energy Research Centre.  Architects can specify "zero-energy" homes, which are designed to be energy efficient and produce their own energy through solar power, but …

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Renewable heat incentive - thoughts on deeming, SAP, equity and accuracy

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 9 March 2011 at 3:59 pm

Renewable heat incentive - thoughts on deeming, SAP, equity and accuracy

According to the briefing prepared by the REA (the Renewable Energy Association), the long awaited proposals for the Renewable Heat Incentive are expected this week. Following slowly on from the FIT (feed-in tariff), the renewable heat incentive is expected to apply the long-term tariff approach of…

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Energy grant of £1,000 available for community buildings in the south west

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 15 February 2011 at 3:28 pm

Energy grant of £1,000 available for community buildings in the south west

Grants of £1,000 are still available for community groups across the South West of England and South and West Wales, who are looking to reduce their energy use. The Western Power Distribution Community Chest is open to all eligible groups (although applications from Cornwall and Wales are partic…

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The best way to draught-proof an old window or door

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 7 February 2011 at 9:11 am

The best way to draught-proof an old window or door

However high you turn up the heating, a cold draught howling around your ankles is still uncomfortable, yet lots of the products on sale at the DIY shops don't manage to cut it off. Well, thanks to English Heritage, by way of Hook Norton Low Carbon, I've discovered the answer for casement windows…

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Ways in which Green Deal could be more ambitious

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 21 January 2011 at 10:10 am

Ways in which Green Deal could be more ambitious

The plans for a Green Deal scheme to finance energy efficiency lack ambition and are in danger of only delivering the easy to install solutions such as loft and cavity wall insulation  according to a number of commentators. Speaking at this week's Low Carbon Community Conference in London, …

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New widget aims to reduce gas bills

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 12 January 2011 at 10:47 am

New widget aims to reduce gas bills

I've just received my gas bill and I'm not surprised to find that December's freezing temperatures mean that I've used a lot more gas than usual (and quite a lot more than the supplier has estimated too). I've been recording weekly readings from my gas and electricity meters for the past 2 and a…

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Finance for energy efficiency: how the green deal will work

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 17 December 2010 at 10:10 am

Finance for energy efficiency: how the green deal will work

More detail about the Green Deal - the government's plan to encourage us all to make our homes and offices energy efficient - were revealed in the Energy Bill earlier this month. In essence this is a mechanism to enable people to make improvements without having to bear the up-front cost. The 'go…

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Green Deal - will the advice be good enough?

Posted by Linn Rafferty on 3 December 2010 at 9:15 am

Green Deal - will the advice be good enough?

You're probably painfully aware that there's a lot still to be decided about how the Green Deal will work.  According to DECC the Green Deal process starts with the provision of advice: "All households and businesses will be entitled to an energy efficiency assessment as part of Green …

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Why would anyone be interested in the Green Deal?

Posted by Cathy Debenham on 1 December 2010 at 8:42 am

Why would anyone be interested in the Green Deal?

This question was asked of the Question Time panel at RegenSW's conference last week, and their answers weren't a ringing endorsement of the Green Deal, the government's flagship policy for making domestic housing more energy efficient. "I'm pessimistic that it will work," said Ian Marchant, chie…

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