How to save money by saving energy
With the cost of electricity rising rapidly, many housholds, businesses and organisations are in a financial crisis due to the increasing utility bills. Here we provide a series of options to reduce energy bills and some green energy options that can provide longer term reductions.
While there are numberous ways to reduce energy consumption some are quick and easy to implement while others may require a financial investment or other action to implement. Not all are methods of reducing energy bills are obvious to the user and some professional help will often be beneficial.
Often a number of simple steps can easily be identified and implemented such as reducing the heating or cooling energy by simply adjusting the thermostat setting by a few degrees.
Other options of reducing utility bills are to identify wastage and areas where savings can be made. Some of these may be easy such as switching off devices when not in use. Today there are many devices in the home and business that consume energy when in a standby condition. While often devices such as TV´s and other audio visual devices are often highlighted many other devices such as micro waves, hobs, boilers, overns, chargers, computers and a lot more are ignored. While individually thes may not consume much energy the amount these cost running in standby 24 hours a day 365 days per year can add up.
Adding additional insulation to buildings and other areas of energy loss is another area where potential savings can be made. For example if the cost of heating or cooling can be reduced by a significant amount then this can make a substantial difference to the annual costs of most properties. While some of these are easy to identify, often an energy survey will help not only identify the areas that require attention but also the suggested specification for any changes and the expected cost savings that can be made. From this the ROI (return on investment) can be calculated so that the best options for implementation can be identified.
Some utilities provide various options that can be used to reduce the cost of energy. For example some utilities have different rates for different periods during the day (often referred to as a day and night rate). Using more energy during the low rate period and less during the high rate period can obviously reduce the overall bill even if the total energy usage is not reduced.
Another option available in some areas is to be paid bu the utility company for not using power during high demand periods.
Where a utility company provides electricity at different rates during the day there is an option to store energy during low charge periods and to use this energy during higher rate periods. The energy can be stored in bateries or other media such as hot water.
Using Green Energy
There are various green energy options available however not all are suitable / practical / possible for all users. The common options are:-
- Solar energy using PV panels
- Solar energy using thermal panels to heat water
- Wind turbines
- Ground source heat pumps (GFHP)
- Air source heat pumps (AFHP)
- Hydro electric generators
If we look at these:-
Solar PV panels with and without batteries are very popular as it is easy to convert the DC solar energy generated into mains energy using an inverter. Batteries can optionally be used to save energy that is not used directly and can increase the total savings however this comes at additional installation cost. Using thermal panals to heat hot water can reduce the energy required to heat hot water for use in the home or for heating swimming pools etc. However both of these solar options require a suitable area for the installation of the panels and related equipment.
Wind turbines, are probably the next most popular option. Again these require a suitable location with sufficient air flow. In general locations surrounded by buildings or trees are not suitable. Wind noise can also be a problem with some units.
Ground source heat pumps (GFHP) use the ground heat and heat pump to extract heat from the ground. Some installations use a vertical installation while others use pipes installed a meter or two below the surface over a large area. The installation cost can be significant in both cases.
Air source heat pumps (AFHP) require a reletively small amount of space to install and are also relatively easy to install. While they can have a good efficiency under some conditions the efficiency can be low during cold conditions.
Hydro electric generators are a great option where a suitable reliable water source is available. While closed pelton wheels can be used these typically require a reasonable head of water to drive them. DIY type installations can also be made with a water wheel driving a generator.
Where to start?
For local sites around the Bucks area in the UK we can do a site visit and conduct an energy survey to help users identify areas where energy can be saved and suitable green energy solutions. For other locations we can arrange an online consultation.
Please Contact us for more informatio.