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.
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
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!