Leading a Greener Life

There are many things that we can do to make our lives greener and to contribute to a leading a greener life. The list is long for breaking old habits and creating better ones that will leave a cleaner earth for current and future generations. A lot more people are aware of the consequences of…

There are many things that we can do to make our lives greener and to contribute to a leading a greener life. The list is long for breaking old habits and creating better ones that will leave a cleaner earth for current and future generations. A lot more people are aware of the consequences of their actions regarding things like the amount of garbage they create, the water and electricity that they waste, and the reduction of carbon footprints that we leave with our driving habits and the use of carbon based fuel . We can be leading a gener life by sticking to some newly formed ways of living.

1. We need to recycle those things that can be used in other ways and not clog up our landfills. Every home should have a place for recycled plastic, bottles, and paper or cardboard.

2. Los Angeles has enabled policies that will help all of us to lead a gener life. One of the policies is the restriction of plastic shopping bags that do a great deal of harm to our wildlife as well as flying around and causing litter of some of the worst kind. The use of reusable bags for shopping is extremely valuable to reducing the use of paper bags and the reduction of plastics that cause a lot of harm to our planet.

3. Many utility companies today can give you a choice regarding the basis of your electricity. You can call or email them to find out if you can switch to energy that comes from the sun or wind or any other sustainable form of energy. This will reduce the amount of carbon based fuel that is used and leave less carbon dioxide in the atmosphere.

4. We often live with temperatures unnecessarily warm in the winter when we can put on a sweater and unnecessarily cold in the summer when we can save on the amount of energy that we use to run furnaces and air conditioning units.

5. Leading a greener life often means just changing a few habits like using your own coffee mug at the office or using less in the way of paper towels rather than using a reusable cloth in the kitchen or bathroom. Using less in the way of paper plates and more washable dishes is extremely helpful in filling less of the landfills that have to be eliminated with the use of combustion that puts harmful chemicals into the air and more pollution that we have to breathe.

A Must For Solar Hot Water Systems

Keeping your solar hot water system running at optimum efficiency is of paramount Importance. Most systems will need a little bit of electrical boosting on low solar days, when we have seasonal changes or when there is higher demand on the system than usual. But other than these uncontrollable elements there are several factors that…

Keeping your solar hot water system running at optimum efficiency is of paramount Importance.

Most systems will need a little bit of electrical boosting on low solar days, when we have seasonal changes or when there is higher demand on the system than usual.

But other than these uncontrollable elements there are several factors that need to be maintained and serviced to insure the longevity of your system and that it performs at its best.

The easiest and most simple thing you can do is to make sure the panels are clean. Mold and leaf build up on the panels will result in a very noticeable difference in the performance of your hot water system.

Water flows quite slowly through the panels and over the course of time sediment can start building up, flushing the panels is a very important step in maintaining your panels, especially in areas where water quality is an issue.

Most systems on the market are steel with a glass vitreous lining and are protected by an anode. The anode is sacrificial in nature and is designed to corrode away to prevent corrosion of the tank itself. It is important to check the anode to insure there is enough of the anode left to protect the tank; This should also be checked on a five year service.

Every make and model of solar hot water system regardless of materials used in the construction requires a service by a professional every 5 years. The valve manufactures that produce the hot water pressure and temperature safety valves require that the valve be replaced every 5 years. Insuring that valves are operating correctly and within the parameters of the manufactures requirements not only prolongs the life of your system but keeps it running at peak proficiency.

Hot water systems should also be fitted with an anti-scolding device, this however (as we have seen on too many installations) is not always present and we would strongly recommend that you have one installed, this will not only protect your family from scolding water coming out of your taps, but will also regulate the temperature of your water giving your solar hot water system better performance. This should also be checked with a professional service every 5 years for operational faults and performance.

You may even notice a drop in the performance of your system if insulation has come away from the pipes or the insulation has started to deteriorate.

In conclusion you can get the impression that your hot water system is not working correctly if

  • Your anti-scolding device has stopped working or has been set incorrectly.
  • If the hot water valve is leaking
  • The panels are dirty
  • Sediment is building up inside the panels
  • If any insulation has started to deteriorate or is missing

Other things that your solar hot water professional should be checking are fastening clamps and straps to insure that it does not have the propensity slide or move around in adverse weather conditions this goes for full systems and split systems. Also they should check waterproofing and silicone sealants around pipes that penetrate the roof as birds have been known to peck at it.

Renewable Energy Grid Integration

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Department of Energy have been coordinating the creation of a new facility in Golden, Colorado which is centered on large utility sized clean energy grid integration. The goal is to develop cheaper and more efficient solar power inverters for many aspects of energy use. The Secretary of…

The National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL) and the Department of Energy have been coordinating the creation of a new facility in Golden, Colorado which is centered on large utility sized clean energy grid integration. The goal is to develop cheaper and more efficient solar power inverters for many aspects of energy use.

The Secretary of Energy, Ernest Muniz, believes that NREL is a “national treasure” because the organization assists researchers, inverters, entrepreneurs, and innovators to develop and research new reliable energy technologies. This new center is being created with an important goal in mind. In order for new energy technology like solar energy developments to become the most important form of usable energy, there has to be a well-coordinated effort among researchers, manufacturers, and utility companies. The goal is to merge clean and renewable energy like solar into a smarter and more efficient power grid. This is called grid integration.

The importance of this new facility is to be the first facility to combine both public sector researchers and private industrial researchers to work together to increase sustainable energy technologies like solar arrays to wind turbines. The plans are usually for things like electric vehicles to become more user-friendly and to have home appliances that are interactive with renewable energy sources. The goal is grid integration with the coordination of those that are creating useful interaction with each other and a large utility grid.

The Energy Systems Integration Facility (ESIF) in Colorado is the first of its kind. It also coordinates efforts between the federal government, private industry and the scholastic community with a thirty five year objective. The idea is for these three groups working together to move into new and innovative areas of energy research.

Grid integration will also involve more direction towards the next generation of solar and wind technology which will support large scale storage of energy along with the continued reduction of renewable energy costs. It will help to make these sources of energy more affordable. The plan is to integrate the grid along with newventions so that Americans will be paying less for electricity in the future and that it will come from clean, sustainable and efficient sources. With the future of electric cars that will work with little if any carbon based fuel which will reduce our dependency on dirty combustion engines that pollute our air and cost a lot to run. Other appliances that are in our homes will be coordinated with renewable energy so that they will run on clean and inexpensive energy as well.

Evaluate the Local Design Standards Before Cutting Openings on Your Shipping Container House

When shipping containers are done hauling goods overseas they're sold and put to use in many new ways. Some become storage containers; some are equipped with phone and server equipment to restore communications in case of natural disasters or in remote locations and still others are altered to become mobile offices, small businesses, or homes…

When shipping containers are done hauling goods overseas they're sold and put to use in many new ways. Some become storage containers; some are equipped with phone and server equipment to restore communications in case of natural disasters or in remote locations and still others are altered to become mobile offices, small businesses, or homes and cabins.

When homes and buildings are constructed by conventional means they are required to meet some engineered design criteria so that the building will perform properly for any severe weather conditions that may occur in the geographical area that the building located. Due to the various weather conditions in North America the required design criteria changes from region to region and in some areas down to county by county. For instance, buildings constructed in the coastal portions of Florida are required to withstand winds of 120mph – 150mph while buildings in the northern portion of the country have a wind speed design criteria of 90 mph. However, buildings in the northern regions of the country must be designed to withstand 70 lbs. / sq. ft. – 100lbs. / sq. ft. of snow loads versus southern Florida which has no snow load criteria.

A standard shipping container is not specifically designed to meet the occupied building design criteria for wind loads and snow loads instead they are intended to meet the load for being stacked three to ten fully loaded containers high provided the load is transferred down through the corner posts and carry a weight of up to 70,000 lbs. The stacking loads are “point load” conditions on the corners versus a snow load which is distributed over the entire roof surface. Once the container is modified, like the side wall cut open to allow a container to mate up to another container to create a large open space, then the roof snow load can not longer be properly transferred down through walls and onto the foundation. A header or support member must be installed on the container opening and this piece should be properly engineered according to the load conditions for the region in which the container building will be placed.

To insure your shipping container home or building is safe, the local building authority or often known as “the building inspector” is reasonably to require you to provide a set of fully engineered drawings and calculations of your shipping container house / building which are kindly required to be sealed by a professional engineer that is certified for the state or province in which the building is going to be placed. You'll need an engineer experienced in this type of design, if you need a reference for someone who is very proficient in this field please contact us and we will connect you with a qualified engineer who we have worked with for many years to assist you .

The EPA and Carbon Dioxide Emissions

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is no longer a choice. Many scientists have declared that the increasing temperature of the earth is related to a lack of regulations of greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the new policies will be enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency which is also known as the EPA and CO2…

The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is no longer a choice. Many scientists have declared that the increasing temperature of the earth is related to a lack of regulations of greenhouse gas emissions. Some of the new policies will be enforced by the Environmental Protection Agency which is also known as the EPA and CO2 emissions from carbon based power plants such as those burn oil and coal. The effects of these emissions are causing many communities to face the truth so that they can prepare for the results of the changes in climate and severe weather conditions.

The EPA and carbon dioxide emissions will be called on to monitor both new and older power plants so that harmful pollutants are reduced. In order to keep the costs of energy down, credits may be offered to power companies. For instance, if a coal plant produces too much carbon dioxide emissions, it can remain opened if it can build a solar power plant and receive credit for taking part in a renewable energy program. The EPA is still working on a way to make the system work both practically and economically.

There is no doubt that the weather is getting more extreme and many researchers and meteorologists are pointing to the heating of the oceans, the rise in water levels, the changes of weather in the center of the United States which is also known as the bread basket , and extreme droughts as a result of the CO2 levels in the earth's atmosphere. The EPA and carbon dioxide emissions will be a part of a large plan to use more clean and renewable energy in both industry and homes all over the United States. The plan will have to be employed in other nations around the world who are also playing a large part in the pollution of the planet as a whole.

There have been so many changes. In 2012 there were record heat waves across the United States. Wildfires burned more than 9.3 million acres of land including homes, wildlife, trees, and personal property including businesses. The overall precipitation was 2.57 inches below average for the United States in the twenty century. Extreme weather disasters cost the American economy more than one hundred billion dollars.

The EPA and carbon dioxide emissions are not the only greenhouse gasses to be controlled and reversed in order to clean up our atmosphere. While reduced pollution is at the top of the list, stronger fuel economy standards along with increased clean and renewable energy sources must be a part of the plan.

How Could Advice From The Energy Saving Trust Benefit You?

Since it was founded, back in 1993, the Energy Saving Trust has provided millions of UK households with impartial information and advice when it comes to sustainable energy use, and climate change. It's a non-profit organization, which is funded mostly by the Government and operates regionalised services in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This factor…

Since it was founded, back in 1993, the Energy Saving Trust has provided millions of UK households with impartial information and advice when it comes to sustainable energy use, and climate change. It's a non-profit organization, which is funded mostly by the Government and operates regionalised services in Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales. This factor enables the trust to provide consumers with specifically tailor-made information – falling in line with existing programs each country may have.

Getting this information is reliably straightforward. The Energy Saving Trust operates an independent advice line. Through this it provides impartial advice to homeowners on how they could save energy in the home – and in the process save money – tips insulating the home appropriately, as well as information on sustainable water usage. As well as advising on home energy saving measures, the Energy Saving Trust can also, through its helpline, provide expert advice for motorists. This advice covers the things to look out when choosing a new vehicle and information on reducing the amount spent on fuel.

It's a great service, and one that's, most importantly, operated by experts in saving energy. This is significant as it allows homeowners to feel confident that they're speaking to someone that knows exactly what they're talking about.

The Energy Saving Trust also offers an abundance of information through its website. Although, the information is not as tailor, or served up by an expert – like it is across the phone helpline service – there's plenty of it on offer.

For example, homeowners agonising wherever or not to get their homes insulated in time for the winter, will find a whole host of statistics explaining the benefits. There's also information on the various different types insulation materials available – ranging from rigid insulation boards to matting.

It can also help when it comes to boiler replacement, saving energy when it comes to heating water, and improving your home's electrical system – something which could have a positive long-term impact.

The Energy Saving Trust also details the steps someone would need to take to generate their own renewable energy. It also provides advice on how to go about making money from renewable energy – by selling it to energy suppliers.

If you've ever been an appliance shopping there's a good chance you'll have spotted the Energy Saving Trust Recommended label on some products. All of the products featuring this accreditation can be located on its site too. This information is good for those looking to upgrade some of their old appliances for sleeker, more energy efficient models.

A product featuring the Recommended label is one that can be relied on to use energy in an efficient manner. Therefore, if you're looking to become greener, by changing the appliances in your home, it might be worth browsing through the selection of labeled products listed on the Energy Saving Trust site before you go ahead with any purchase.

Overall, the information provided by the Energy Saving Trust could potentially benefit a homeowner in need of energy advice.

Where Is the Best Place to Install a Radiator?

If there is one question which provokes an argument between heating engineers it has to be the old old argument about where to put your radiators. Some say under the window or on an external wall and others suggest on internal walls. We will have a look at each argument and see if we can…

If there is one question which provokes an argument between heating engineers it has to be the old old argument about where to put your radiators. Some say under the window or on an external wall and others suggest on internal walls. We will have a look at each argument and see if we can work out which one is the better option.

Under a window

Before double glazing was standard in most homes, there was often a lot of cold air coming into the room via the windows. Because cold air will normally fall to the floor and hot air rises, it was thought that placing the radiator under the window was the best option. The cold air would meet the warmth of the radiator as it entered the room and then be forced upwards and into the rest of the room.

This is a good theory and probably worked very well, but it does not seem to take into account the fact that windows also lose heat from the room. So that warm air may well have exited the room just as quickly.

The argument for external walls is very similar to that for windows – once again, the air coming from the colder wall is forced up being contained as it goes.

Internal walls

Now that double glazing is used in most homes and that loss from windows is minimal, it is thought that radiators should be placed on internal walls. This allows the warm air already in the room to be heated as it cools and falls to the floor, forcing it up again in an eternal circle. This makes sense because it will take less energy to heat air which is already warm and you could save money on energy as a result.

The argument against this is that the heated air may never make it to the floor before it is warm again leaving cold spots close to the floor and not encouraging the cold air to rise.

It is also worth pointing out that you may heat the wall inside the house allowing the heat to travel into other rooms through the walls. This makes more sense than having a radiator on an external wall where the heat will be sucked outside.

Does it really matter where you install your radiators?

Short answer – probably not. In these days of good insulation, double glazing and specialist drapes, carpets and furnishings – you will find that your radiators will work just as well almost anywhere you place them. You should really make the decision based on where it is most convenient. Take into account where your furniture will be placed, where wall sockets are and how cool or warm it is in the room.

Of course this argument will run and run and you may find there are other arguments to have had regarding the use of central heating radiators and electric – but we will leave that for another day.

Five Ways to Save Energy in the Summer Months

You will find plenty of articles all over the Internet telling you the best ways to save energy in the winter time – after all it is easy to tell you to cut back on heating, use less gas for heating water, keep your doors closed or to light a fire. But what about in…

You will find plenty of articles all over the Internet telling you the best ways to save energy in the winter time – after all it is easy to tell you to cut back on heating, use less gas for heating water, keep your doors closed or to light a fire. But what about in the summer months. While our energy use might be lower at this time of the year, we still have ways to cut back and it could mean that you have a little more to spend on heating your home in the winter when you really need it.

Use an efficient air conditioner

If you are running an older style air conditioner in the summer, it is likely that it is fairly inefficient and uses up much more energy than you realize. Simply upgrading to a new model could save you plenty of money and you will not feel guilty every time you turn it on. It is estimated that today's air conditioners cost about 50% of what a ten year old unit will cost. This is obviously a great investment to make.

Try out a fan

Fans, either those which run on your ceiling or those which are freestanding, use much less energy than an air conditioner and will move the air around. Admittedly they do not provide the same level of comfort but they certainly make a worthy contribution to our summer savings. When buying your fan make sure you look at the energy rating and choose the best you can afford.

Solar panels

If you can afford the investment, the summer months are the ideal time to install solar panels. You will immediately be making the maximum money from the system and you could even be making money by selling your excess energy back to the grid. Solar panels work all year round, but in the summer months you will make enough energy to run most of the functions of your home.

Get out the BBQ

There is nothing nicer in the summer than to BBQ'd food and cooking outside will save all kinds of energy. You will not need the oven or gas to be on for cooking, you will not need the air conditioning, the TV and lights will be turned off and you will be enjoying time outside while saving money.

Line dry your clothes

Rather than using the tumble drier you can line dry your clothes in the summer. Tumble driers are one of the largest users of energy in the average home, so it is wise to avoid using it whenever possible. Hanging your clothes outside adds freshness and the sun will even make your whites whiter.

Turn off your boiler

In the summer you need hardly any gas and certainly do not need to turn on your central heating. The simple act of turning off your boiler will save you plenty as even the pilot light being on can use up gas. If you want to keep your hot water hot, just turn on the boiler once a day for half and hour – that should be plenty.

Different Types of Passive Solar Energy

One of the benefits of using passive solar energy is that it's green, causing no pollution, and is usually an inexpensive way to use the sun to create light, heat, and sometimes cooling effects for structures of all kinds. One type of passive solar energy is an outside coating that can help homeowners both beautify…

One of the benefits of using passive solar energy is that it's green, causing no pollution, and is usually an inexpensive way to use the sun to create light, heat, and sometimes cooling effects for structures of all kinds. One type of passive solar energy is an outside coating that can help homeowners both beautify their homes as well as save on energy at the same time.

When people paint their homes with regular paint, the paint often lasts only two or three years before the sun and hard weather have a negative effect on the paint that means that it will chip or discolor. There are new passive solar energy coatings that last for ten to twelve years and help to keep the inside of the structure cool in the hot summer months as well as appealing the sun to it in the winter to help keep the heat inside the structure. When you can cool the inside of a home naturally, a lot of money can be saved on air conditioning. There are no pollutants from outside wall coatings and that leads to financial benefits. When you consider that a house just covered in regular house paint absorbs about 90% of the radiant hear from the sun, the expense on an outside coating can be paid for in a few years of not paying for high electric bills.

Another form of passive solar energy can be found in window choices. New double paned windows offer a substantial savings from heat and cold air that is lost from old windows that do not fit right and are thin single paned windows. New windows offer an inexpensive way to also beautify your home and save on wasted energy. Add to that, window covers that can keep cold air during during the summer months and shades and draperies that can keep the warm air in during the winter months.

Another form of passive solar energy is the kind of roof that is selected for homes. If you live in a warm climate, keeping your roof light is the best way to reflect away sunlight that could heat the inside of your attic which will in turn come into the living quarters of your home. Add this to better insulation to keep air conditioning during during the summer and the heat during the winter, this is really a way of using passive energy to maintain the temperature that you want.

New Trends in Solar Panels for Sustainable Electricity Generation

Solar panels, also called photovoltaic cells, are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. Today, solar energy is widely used for domestic as well as for commercial purposes. The advancement of technology has made it possible to produce solar energy equipment at low cost. The modern equipment is more efficient than the earlier ones. There is…

Solar panels, also called photovoltaic cells, are devices that convert sunlight into electricity. Today, solar energy is widely used for domestic as well as for commercial purposes.

The advancement of technology has made it possible to produce solar energy equipment at low cost. The modern equipment is more efficient than the earlier ones.

There is a huge advancement in this technology – Crystalline solar panels, thin film technology and multi-junction technology are considered the best performers in power generation. We will read more about these technologies in this article.

Crystalline solar panels:

They are made of silicon and are based on the arrangement of silicon crystals. There are two types of crystalline solar panels – Mono-crystalline and Poly-crystalline.

• Mono-crystalline:

These are the most efficient and popularly used solar panels. They are made using single coating of silicon. A square meter mono-crystalline panel can generate 110-220 watts of electricity. These panels are more reliable as their life time ranges between 10-30 years. The performance of mono-crystalline panels are best during high and low light conditions. They are 11-22% efficient in harvesting power. They require low maintenance and are easy to replace on small area or roof. The disadvantage of this technology is its cost. Although it is made from silicon (sand), purifying the cost of the mineral makes it highly expensive.

• Poly-crystalline:

Poly means many. Poly-crystalline solar panels are made using different crystals. Different types of crystals are fused together to make a single device. A square meter poly-crystalline panel can harvest 120-130 watts power. Manufacturing cost is very low and so is the cheapest source of solar energy. Panels are 13.5% efficient in energy conversion. Poly-crystalline panels require less space than mono-crystalline to setup on the roof. The only disadvantage is their less efficiency when compared to mono-crystalline solar panels.

Thin Film technology:

This technology makes it possible to produce thin panels that can be easily incorporated in the building's envelope. However, this technology is less efficient in power generation compared to crystalline panels. A square feet Thin film panel could harvest 60-70 watts power. These panels can produce more power in hot conditions, so, are ideal for hot climate and where place is not a limiting factor to install. Disadvantage with these panels is they are difficult to replace.

Multi-junction technology:

Multi-junction solar panel technology generates 50% more power when compared to other technologies. This technology absorbs maximum sunlight compared to its counterparts. This technology is reliable in its performance with 25 to 30 years of life time.

Solar energy is perennial and non-polluting. Solar panels were invented recently and have shown their efficiency and reliability in power generation. They are getting popular day by day across the globe.

Simple Tips for Conserving Energy

Conserving energy involves a range of practices a homeowner can follow in an attempt to cut the day-to-day energy usage. If you're looking to cut the energy costs in the home, you will certainly notice many different things can be done to help with saving energy. Searching out cracks in the walls and replacing inefficient…

Conserving energy involves a range of practices a homeowner can follow in an attempt to cut the day-to-day energy usage. If you're looking to cut the energy costs in the home, you will certainly notice many different things can be done to help with saving energy. Searching out cracks in the walls and replacing inefficient windows are common options. Here are some of the more straightforward solutions for conserving energy in the home:

Light bulbs: A simple and straightforward option for reducing energy consumption is to replace the existing incandescent light bulbs with the more energy-efficient fluorescent light bulbs. It is reported that it is possible to save up to 75% of the energy normally used for lighting the home with the energy-saving lights now available in the marketplace.

Thermostat: A home fitted with a central air-conditioning system is certain to see a significant amount of energy used throughout the summer. If you are able to avoid using the cooling system at full blast at all times, you should be able to see a significant cut in the energy bills that you are likely to receive.

Water Heater: It will certainly help if you are able to keep an eye on the temperature control of the water heater at home. Ideally, you want to make sure that the water heating is set at its normal setting when at home and in use, and at other times it can be turned down to the lowest possible setting when the home is likely to be empty. A water heater is likely to amount to almost 14% of the total energy bill.

Save Water: A further area where you are able to save energy in the home related to the use of water. If able to install such devices as the low-flow shower heads and faucet aerator, you should find that it is certainly possible to see a saving in the annual cost of the water usage.

Switch off the electronics: If you're able to avoid leaving the TV, battery chargers, computers or similar electronics plugged in or constantly on standby mode when not in use then you are likely to see significant savings in the energy usage.

Ceiling fans: Another step that can be taken to help with reducing the usage of air-conditioning systems is to install one of the ceiling fans. It will also help if the shades and windows are closed during the day time when using the fans.

Choose LED Lights for Your Home

If you care about the environment and saving money then it's time you switched to LED lights. Conventional bulbs are so last century and everyone who's anyone is switching to LED; so read on to find out all about the benefits. What is LED? An LED or Light Emitting Diode is the modern answer to…

If you care about the environment and saving money then it's time you switched to LED lights. Conventional bulbs are so last century and everyone who's anyone is switching to LED; so read on to find out all about the benefits.

What is LED?

An LED or Light Emitting Diode is the modern answer to household lighting needs. However, LED's have been around for a long time; for example or TV remotes, digital devices and of course, Christmas trees!

However, today's LED bulbs can be fitted all around the home and in the garden. They produce a more eco-friendly and energy saving light than traditional bulbs or even halogen.

Why Choose LED?

Longer Lasting

LED light bulbs last much longer than conventional bulbs and they never explode when they run out as some cheaper bulbs do. Each bulb has a life expectancy of 100,000 hours, which means if you left your light on for eight hours a day, it would last around 20 years. Some conventional bulbs do not even last 20 weeks. Although like for like, LED lights are more expensive than older style bulbs, when you consider that you may not ever need to replace a bulb they're actually much cheaper.

More Efficient

Up to 90% of the energy used to run an LED bulb is converted into light, while old bulbs only convert around 20% of the energy they use into light, the rest is given off as heat. This not only means that LED bulbs are more efficient, it also means they're safer. LED lights do not get hot there's no danger of them causing an object touching them or near them to catch fire. They're perfect for using in alcoves, to illuminate wardrobes or under shelving where traditional bulbs would simply get too hot.

More Eco Friendly

As LED uses so little energy lights can easily be solar powered – especially in gardens, which means you can illuminate your outdoor spaces without having to spend a penny. In addition, LED lights are hard wearing, durable and shock resistant, unlike fragile glass bulbs. They can also withstand extremes of temperature, making them even more perfect for British gardens! When it comes to getting rid of LED bulbs (not that you'll need to for another two decades) they do not contain harmful substances such as mercury, which is often included in conventional bulbs and they're 100% recyclable.

Low UV – Low Infrared

We're just starting to scratch the surface of UV light, but most scientists contest that too much exposure is not a good thing. LED lights give very low UV emissions so they're perfect for people with light sensitivity or for using spaces where UV could be damaging, for example in art galleries.

Cheap to Buy

Thanks to advances in technology and the manufacturing process, LED lights are now reliably cheap to buy, which means you can take advantage of all the benefits of LED lights without having to break the bank.

Make Money With Solar Panels

Solar panels are a common site across the UK and a great way of reducing energy costs. But did you know that installing solar PV panels could even turn you a tidy profit? With the government's tariff schemes you can ensure completely free energy and even sell your excess energy back to the grid. Here's…

Solar panels are a common site across the UK and a great way of reducing energy costs. But did you know that installing solar PV panels could even turn you a tidy profit? With the government's tariff schemes you can ensure completely free energy and even sell your excess energy back to the grid. Here's how:

1. Install solar PV panels

Over the last decade the cost of installing solar panels has dramatically reduced, which means getting your panels fitted will not break the bank. There are lots of solar panel installers out there fitting panels but make sure you check them out thoroughly and ask to see examples of their previous work.

2. Apply for the Feed In Tariff (FIT)

Whether you use solar panels, wind or water power, if you generate your own electricity you're eligible for the FIT.

How it Works

You'll get a set figure for each kilowatt hour of electricity that's generated by your solar panels. The amount you'll get will be based on a number of factors, including:

  • Who fitted your panels – they must be installed by a certified PV Installer company
  • When your panels were fitted
  • The type of panels you fit
  • The size of your solar panels

To find out more about this you can speak to an energy supply company or a solar panel installation company. You can either choose to receive payments from the energy company you already use, or you can choose another registered supplier. Click here for a list of registered suppliers around the country.

However, these payments will cover the cost of your energy, so in effect you will be getting your energy completely free, but not necessarily turning a profit – but you can also make money on your excess energy. Here's how:

The Export Tariff

The export tariff allows homeowners to sell energy back to the grid. At present, you can earn 4.5p for every unit of electricity you sell, provided that you applied for the FIT after 1st August 2012. If you applied for the FIY before this time you'll be enticed to 3.2p for each unit of extra energy you generate.

How Much Could I Get?

You can visit the Energy Saving Trust (EST) website to find out more about the cost of installing solar panels and the money you could make selling your energy. Click here to visit the solar energy calculator on the EST website.

Conclusion

It feels great to do your bit for the environment, but it's even better to make money at the same time! So do not delay, fit solar panels today and you could be getting completely free energy and selling back to the grid within a matter of weeks, so you never have to worry about the cost of energy again!

How to Measure Your Insulation

To inspect your insulation you need to have proper lighting, a tape measure, pen and paper and a screw driver. Start by walking around your home and identifying areas that could have different insulation details. You home will have at a minimum insulation in the walls, ceilings, some flooring and your attic. Write down a…

To inspect your insulation you need to have proper lighting, a tape measure, pen and paper and a screw driver. Start by walking around your home and identifying areas that could have different insulation details. You home will have at a minimum insulation in the walls, ceilings, some flooring and your attic. Write down a list of these areas and record your findings.

Inspecting your Open Attic

If you home has a pitched roof and an open attic, you'll need to enter through the hatch which could be outdoors, in a hallway or a closet. Once you enter your attic, make sure to walk on the trusses or boards laid down across for sure footing.

Inspect the insulation and identify the type of insulation. Fiberglass batts are yellow or pink and come in rolls. Loose-fill fiberglass is either yellow, pink or white and looks like battles that are chopped up. Cellulose looks like chopped up newspapers and is a dark gray in color.

If you are dealing with batts, it is easy to tell the R-value of the insulation as is printed on the outside plastic or paper. If you're evaluating loose-fill insulation, measure the tickness all the way down to the top of the ceiling surface. If it varies in depth, take an average of thicknesses, calculate and record the R-value according to an insulation chart.

Inspecting Closed Cavities

The most common type of closed cavity is within your walls. In a framed house, the walls are framed with 2 “X4 with the insulation between the studs. spaces. These floor vaults vary in thickness but should have 6 to 12 inches of insulation.

Re-insulating a closed cavity in your home can solve the comfort level of a home if previously poorly insulated. The trick to inspecting vaults is to find access to look inside. To complete the inspection, you will need a flashlight, screwdriver, tape measure and pen and paper. You may also need a drill in some instances too.

To inspect wall insulation, look for an opening around plumbing or electrical. A good place too look is under a kitchen sink or around a window if it is an outside wall. If you have dry wall, you can always cut a piece out and replace afterwords. Once you have your access hole, look in the cavity with you flashlight and see what type of insulation your wall has. tray and determine the thickness with your tools. If you are able, figure out how hight the insulation goes in your wall. Compare the different areas of your home with the type of insulation used and its thickness.

If your cavities are full of insulation, then you'll need to direct your insurance improvement efforts somewhere else. If you have the funds and want to improve the insulation on areas that are full, this will still help improve your home's energy efficiency.

Solar Power As an Alternative Source of Energy

A household consumption of electricity typically makes up the largest chunk of the average expenses of an average family in a given period. As the demand increases, and so is the cost of power energy increases as well. In order to thwart the increasing cost of electricity, numerous energy savings are being adopted and different…

A household consumption of electricity typically makes up the largest chunk of the average expenses of an average family in a given period. As the demand increases, and so is the cost of power energy increases as well. In order to thwart the increasing cost of electricity, numerous energy savings are being adopted and different innovations are being utilized to ease the burdens of the high cost of living.

Nowadays solar energy is becoming more popular as an alternative source of power energy. The benefits associated with solar energy have been widely recognized in terms of efficiency and sustainability. Its long-term benefits are important to ensure steady supply and affordability, and to be able to compete and lower the cost of other renewable sources of energy.

Design of solar energy systems that are practical for use in residential and commercial buildings is being adopted for energy conservation. Aside from the efficient use of solar power as a source of electricity, solar lighting forms an integral part in modern building designs. Although an old practice even in the past, building orientation relative to the sun has been given particular consideration in the design of modern structures to enable to maximize energy efficiency and reliability for clean and healthy living. Lighting system plays an important role in every household and other building structures to create an environment that promotes good mood, and increases productions in the case of industrial buildings.

The cost of mitigating climate change is very expensive, and previously the quest for solutions to reverse the effect of climate change continues to haunt all sectors of the society. Considering the ill-effect it may contribute to the environment, solar energy does not instigate any form of pollutants which can be harmful to the environment.

Roughly around a third of all air-pollutants being emitted into the atmosphere is from a coal-fired power plants located around the world. These pollutants deplete the ozone layer, making the sun rays penetrate the Earth easily.

Development of solar technology has been carried out as early as the 19th century. Transportation is now gradually inching its way to introduce solar-powered vehicles in the market. For the past several years, scientists have been conducting experiments to produce an efficient and reliable mode of transportation using solar power. Solar technology has been in use in the development of solar-powered automobiles, boats, and aircraft among others. Since its inception dated back in the early 70's, engineering and developments of solar vehicles have all been successful.

The amount of solar energy that is absorbed by the Earth from the sun in an hour is more than the requirement of the world in a year.

All renewable sources of energy use the sun to produce energy. Basically, solar power technology uses solar radiation to produce energy for practical purposes. Sunlight is converted to produce electricity using photoelectric effect that uses photovoltaic cell, which produces direct current (DC) power. In addition, sunlight can also be converted into electricity indirectly by concentrating solar power (CSP), which focuses the sun's energy to boil water which is then used to provide power.

The long list of benefits and advantages of solar energy technology makes it very ideal and viable to become the most affordable and inexpensive form of renewable energy available today. The cost of installing solar panel can be debilitating along the way, but the long term benefits can pave way in the end.