Showing posts with label Conservation. Show all posts
Showing posts with label Conservation. Show all posts

Sunday, October 6, 2013

The Benefits of Renewable Energy: Your Wallet and Your Community

In this day and age, is is crucial to find ways of protecting the environment and its resources to ensure that future generations can thrive on Earth. Fortunately, using renewable energy does not only help the environment but can ultimately save you money as well. In fact, here is a more detailed look at 4 benefits of renewable energy:

1. Unlimited supply

Strong winds, plant residues, fast-moving water, sunshine, and heat from the planet are all examples of energy sources that are limitless or can be replenished. Such sources can easily supply future populations with the energy they need without worry (with the exception of plant residues and fast-moving water if such resources are not taken care of properly).

2. Availability

One of the best things about using renewable energy is that doing so allows for more local control of energy to best benefit the country and individual communities. Using renewable energy helps everyone to become involved and shape energy use for the future.

It is also believed that energy pricing can be stabilized with the use of renewable energy. Many natural resources, such as uranium and oil, experiences pricing fluctuations based on a number of factors. However, renewable energy will not be affected by the increased costs of international resources and its cost will be mostly related to repaying invested capital. In fact, you can see how much money such a service costs by checking out renewable energy providers through services such as Alberta Energy.

Another important thing to note is that the cost of installing energy efficient systems are decreasing. In fact, the cost of a solar panel has decreased by nearly 60% since 2011 while the cost of generating power from wind has dropped by about 20%. In windy areas such as Texas, wind power can directly compete with the use of fossil fuels.

3. Environmentally friendly

Renewable energy is excellent for the environment due to the fact that the systems produce little to no greenhouse gas emissions while in use. Furthermore, only small amounts of emission is produced during the manufacturing of fuels and equipment. Renewable energy sources also produce fewer water and air pollutants, land disruption, and waste.

4. Job creation

Localizing the use of renewable energy produces jobs all over the country (and world). In fact, according to a fact sheet provided by the Environmental and Energy Study Institute (EESI), in 2012 alone, over 110,000 green jobs were created.

Fortunately, there are plenty of jobs available dedicated to helping the world become more green. In fact, sectors with energy efficiency include:
  • Public Mass Transit 
  • Energy-saving Building Materials 
  • HVAC and Building Control Systems 
  • Green Architecture and Construction Services 
  • Professional Energy Services 
  • Appliances 
  • Energy-saving Consumer Products 
  • Battery Technologies 
  • Smart Grid 
  • Electric Vehicle Technologies 
  • Lighting 
  • Water Efficient Products 
As you can see, there are many benefits for using renewable energy. With vigilance, you can do your part to help the world and also put more money back into your wallet.

Dale Hooper has worked as an electrical engineer in Both the US and Canada, where his wife is from. He also enjoys sharing his knowledge on the topic online.

Tuesday, March 26, 2013

Improve Your Home Energy Efficiency with the Green Deal

Wind Energy
 (Photo credit: janie.hernandez55)
Unless you are lucky enough to have purchased a relatively new build, eco-friendlier property, it is likely that your home isn’t as energy efficient as it could be. There are several reasons that this is important, the first of which is it increases your carbon footprint if your home isn’t energy efficient. The second is a by-product of using less energy - it costs much less to run an ‘A’ energy efficiency rating home than a ‘G’. In our economic climate, saving money has never been so important, which is why government-backed initiatives such as the British Gas green deal that aim to improve the energy efficiency of homes in the UK, are much needed.

Although the government has not yet committed to a target to decarbonise the UK’s power sector yet, this scheme is certainly a step in the right direction. Saving money on your household expenditure can only ever be a good thing, so here’s how it works.

To start with you will need to arrange an appointment with a Green Deal assessor, who will do a thorough inspection of the current energy efficiency of your home. They will also review how you use energy in your house. Once this assessment has been carried out you will get a Green Deal Advice Report which contains the results of the assessment including an Energy Performance Certificate, which gives you your energy efficiency rating between A to G and your environmental impact rating, also between A to G. The report will also explain how you use energy such as heating, hot water, appliances and lighting, and compare your usage to a typical similar household.

English: A part of the „Demonstration Project ...
(Photo credit: Wikipedia)
With the Green Deal assessor’s valuable experience in improving the energy efficiency of homes across the UK, an individual recommendation will be made as to what you could have done to your home to improve its energy efficiency, and how the occupants of your household could save money by being more efficient with energy. If you would then like to proceed, they can form a Green Deal plan and arrange the installation of the recommended improvements to your home.

Tuesday, March 12, 2013

Energy Efficiency: Understanding How a Window Upgrade Can Save You Money

You know winter is arriving when the temperatures begin to get frigid. When the temperatures begin to drop, many homeowners will begin to turn their heating systems on and the colder it gets, the harder the system needs to work which increases energy bills. The good news is, by utilizing replacement windows; you can significantly decrease energy use as well as the cost of home heating.

Energy efficient windows help to make your household more comfortable as compared to older drafty windows. This means you are able to not only live comfortably, but save on your electricity and gas as well. There are several ways that efficient windows work in saving energy. Your windows make up a central part of your household's architecture and it can be really simple to go about your daily activities without giving them a second thought. As the energy costs climb, however, the time is now that you want to pay more attention to them and seriously consider an upgrade to more energy efficient windows. In both function and construction, windows like these are different than regular windows and will help you to save a bundle on both your heating and cooling expenses. Below will help you understand how energy efficient windows work to save you on energy costs.

Window Frames

The frame of a window can be made from fiberglass, wood, vinyl, composite, aluminum or another metal. Even though they all have their own particular advantages and disadvantages, it is recommended that you go with vinyl, composite or fiberglass to get the most benefit. Aluminum is heated easily and therefore does not make a great insulator. Due to contraction and expansion, efficiency problems exist with wood frames, so vinyl-clad or fiberglass is a good choice. However, if you decide on vinyl, depending on your house requirements and climate, it is best if you go with the insulated version for the best thermal insulation.

Window Glazing & Insulated

There are many different options when it comes to selecting your window glass, such as heat-absorbing tints, gas fills, double or triple glazed insulated, spectral selective coatings and reflective coatings. Double or triple glazed as well as storm windows allow air and space between panes. This will lower the U-factor and the SHGC or solar heat gain coefficient.

Gas fills

Argon is the most common gas used and is fairly inexpensive. Krypton, although more expensive, is also a common gas used and works better at decreasing the U-factor of a window.

Heat-absorbing tints

Tints come in different colors like green, blue, bronze, gray or black. Tint does not lower the U-factor of a window, but you can add spectral sensitive coatings and inner glass layers to help with that. Bronze and gray help to reduce light and heat while green and blue allow for more VT or visible transmittance, but with only a slight reduction in heat transfer.

You can save money each month with energy efficient windows. In some cases, newer windows have helped people to become net energy gainers. Typically, energy efficient windows will have a payback period of around 2 to 10 years. In new installation, their initial cost is higher but can be offset by giving you the ability to get a less expensive and smaller heating and cooling unit. More durable, energy efficient windows will end up costing less in the long run due to lowered replacement and maintenance costs. Plus, you will be more comfortable all around and a fully insulated home. Places like  Central Scotland Joinery can help you select the best option of energy efficient windows for your home and install them for you too.

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