ENERGY EFFICIENCY

 

 

 

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A brief introduction to microgeneration, what it is and what it can do for you and the planet

MICROGENERATION TECHNOLOGIES

An overview of different electricity and heat producing microgeneration technologies with links to further details on each

ENERGY EFFICIENCY

Before you look for ways to produce your own energy, it makes sense to minimise your energy needs.  An outline of some energy efficiency measures you can take.

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Microgeneration, producing your own energy, is a great idea and this site is all about Microgeneration technologies you can invest in.  But before you think about producing your own energy, you need to think about the energy you use.  Firstly, make sure your home is well insulated, draught-proofed and contains efficient energy using appliances.  There is no point spending 10,000 on a Solar PV system to produce electricity when, for a fraction of the cost you can easily save just as much by investing in low energy light bulbs, turning off appliances when not in use and generally being more careful with your household energy use.

INSULATION

DRAUGHT PROOFING

APPLIANCES

LIGHTING

Insulating your home can halve your heating bills and grants are available.  Some people, including the elderly, may qualify for free insulation measures.

Most insulation is made from rock or glass fibres which, although effective in use, consume a great deal of energy in their production are not very pleasant to handle.  Alternative natural insulants are made from wood or hemp fibres or even sheep's wool, a woolly jumper for your home!

 

Once you have insulated your home, you should also consider draught-sealing around doors, windows, skirting boards and service pipes.  However, do take care to provide adequate controlled ventilation either by installing a mechanical ventilation system (ideally with heat recovery) or by means of passive vents Most modern appliances are fairly energy efficient compared with their predecessors.  All appliances you buy must display an energy rating label; the most efficient ones are rated "A" or above.

Be careful though as some products, such as plasma screen TV are very wasteful of energy.

These days you can find an energy efficient light bulb (also known as CFL) to fit most light fittings.

You might want to consider LEDs which are even more efficient and can replace halogen downlighters, although some are concerned about the quality of the light they produce which is rather harsh.

Whatever you choose, don't leave them on when they are not needed!

 

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Jeremy Harrison 2008  Last update 20th November 2008