Solar Panel Grants – will Lib-Con Goverment support this?

May 27, 2010 by energysavingexpert

I’ve not heard much about their plans, but I sure hope the new government introduce loads of incentives for people to purchase their green technologies. It’ll support green industries, creating much needed jobs and help reduce our CO2 emissions. Don’t let us down Clegg and Cameron – give us solar panel grants. Give us Ground Source Heat Pump grants. We might even like you then!

Bat Survey

March 30, 2010 by energysavingexpert

Some news come in from the architect – another of his clients is renovating a property on the banks of the Thames, and the planning application has just been refused, 3 weeks after submission. The Conservation Officer said that the house was a good candidate for accommodating bats and that an ecological survey was required to ascertain the extent of the problem (if any). So now we’re on the look out for bats – hopefully we can get something submitted in time such that our application is not refused. If we find bats, we’ll need to plan mitigating steps to sufficiently reduce the impact on our little furry friends whilst the building works take place.

Planning Permission

March 25, 2010 by energysavingexpert

Our application for planning permission was submitted yesterday, so fingers crossed, everything will go well. As far as I understand, we don’t need to raise our green initiatives at this stage because they have no bearing on the matter. I think it’s a case of crossing fingers and toes that things go through successfully, so we can move ahead and take this house out of dereliction.

Eco House Example

March 5, 2010 by energysavingexpert

In the Guardian magazine there’s an interesting article “A little power house” which describes a home in Denmark that creates more energy than it uses. That’s fantastic, and something that I like to think we’ll be able to achieve in time. It has twice as many windows as a typical house of its size, each of which are triple-glazed with super-insulated frames. These large windows provide 50% of the home’s warmth in the Winter. This is encouraging – we have lots of large south-facing windows in our designs for the extension. Better look into prices of triple glazing… It also has lights that turn off when no motion is sensed, and computerised display showing how much energy and hot water the house is producing and consuming. They reckon the 5,500kW the solar cells produce a year is nearly double the family’s requirements. And the ventilation system takes heat from the stale air to warm fresh filtered air which is fed into the house. A few more ideas in here to add to the list…

Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI)

February 5, 2010 by energysavingexpert

A friend’s dad is building a eco friendly house in Farnborough. He has the advantage of doing it from scratch and so he’s got the place extremely well insulated (first rule of eco house building it seems). Anyway, he introduced me to the Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme that the government is proposing. Due to launch in April 2011 this guarantees you healthy returns on any investment into renewable heat sources like Ground Source Heat Pumps. Let’s hope the upcoming general election doesn’t result in any changes – this is a great opportunity for the UK to make major in-roads to its CO2 emissions targets.

Measured Survey

December 14, 2009 by energysavingexpert

Sued By Trespassers

December 10, 2009 by energysavingexpert

I’ve just put up a load of signs to say “Danger: Keep Out”. I’ve read that you can be sued if someone breaks into your house and hurts themselves. Can’t say I didn’t warn them.

Eco versus aesthetics

December 5, 2009 by energysavingexpert

We’ve got a bit of a dilemma. Whilst not listed, the building is in a conservation area, so we need to be careful about what we do. We’re keen that it remains sympathetic to the environment anyway of course, but we also want it to be as eco friendly as possible. Solar panels on the roofs probably won’t fit! We’re thinking about a separate array of panels on the ground, or possibly on the garage roof. I’ve been looking for solar tiles  – they’re coming on but the companies that supply them are very few and very far between. I think a couple of years will be enough for the market demand to see these come to fruition.

Choosing an Architect

November 26, 2009 by energysavingexpert

It’s a close call between 3 of them (the “green architect” we spoke was out of the running. He was too shy and lacked the confidence we wanted to see which was a shame. We’ve decided we’ll have to push the green issues and have someone who good at executing projects) and we’re going to feel bad having to let down 2 of these. Our favourite by a whisker is Richard Potter, so I ring a few past clients and see what they say. They were very generous with their time and strongly recommended him. We don’t need any more persuading, so we get in touch and give him the good news.

My House

November 24, 2009 by energysavingexpert

The house I bought is dilapidated and is in a conservation area, and an “Area of Outstanding National Beauty” in South Oxfordshire. It is of red brick construction and was built in the 1830s. The walls are solid brick (no cavity), the windows are single glazed and rotten. There is almost no insulation (though this is academic – there is no heating!). It is south-facing, though has limited south-facing roof area. There’s loads of garden with it.

This Old House - How Can I Reduce Its Impact on the Environment?

As I understand, the main opportunities for me are to install:

  • a Ground Source Heat Pump which will provide underfloor heating
  • photo-voltaic solar panels
  • hot water solar panels
  • rain-water harvesting
  • as good insulation as possible
  • double glazing