Energy Efficiency & Renewables

 

With the end of cheap energy (peak oil) and accelerating climate change there has never been a better time to reduce your energy use and invest in renewable generation.

Here are a few things you can do...

  • Read your meters regularly. This helps you to understand your energy use and provides feedback that any changes are having an effect.
    • Use a whole house electricity monitor – available cheaply from your energy supplier.
    • Use a plug-in monitor for individual appliances.
  • Change your behaviour
    • Turn lights off when not required.
    • Look out for stand-by guzzlers (note, some modern devices have very low standby use).
  • Change to new appliances
    • “Halogen Busting” LED lights – the new 6W LEDs give the same quality of light as 50W halogens and are only £11. That could be a 15% saving on your bill and a 1 year payback.
    • Replace old appliances with A++ versions . Your fridge is on all the time and uses a good proportion of your electricity. A new one can have a massive impact.
  • Install renewable power. This usually means solar power in a city like London.
    • Photovoltaic panels generate electricity if they're installed on a south-facing roof or wall. The national “Feed in Tariff” (FIT) provides you with 41.3p per kW hour generated by photovoltaic (PV) panels. A 3kWh installation will cost about £10,000 and provide about 2,400 kWh per year, an average over the year of 6 kWh per day. NB the government is cutting the FIT by 50% from January 2012 so get your application in soon.
    • Solar Thermal panels can generate most of your hot water needs, but they can be to install in the NW3 area because of the need to route hot water pipes to multiple flats.
    • See here for Camden Council's guidance on solar panels and planning rules.
  • From 2012 homeowners should be able to obtain loans for energy efficiency measures like solid wall insulation and triple glazing under the “Green Deal”. This will provide a loan tied to the building that is paid back using savings from your energy bills.

Helpful websites