Many homeowners are looking at as many ways as possible to reduce their carbon footprint and take responsibility for discovering new green energy solutions for their way of living. Most Oxfordshire homeowners not only want to reduce their household bills, but also want to reduce their emissions and carbon footprint – and both are achievable. All energy, however it is generated, is supplied through the National Grid but green energy companies can provide electricity provided through renewable sources and many can offer more environmentally-friendly gas. Besides moving your energy supplier to a green energy provider, there are several changes you can make at home to contribute towards lowering your bills and your carbon emissions. Replacing your central heating system or boiler with a biomass boiler or a heat pump is far more cost-effective. Steve Evans who is a local Oxfordshire electrician says you should also consider wood-fuelled heating, a large solar panel system or even a wind turbine which not only reduces outgoings but saves carbon dioxide. If you live in a rural location in Oxfordshire find a local electrician who will give you advice on how to make the most of solar water heating and / or hydro power from a mix of wind and solar power, most will offer this for free.
Change to Green Energy Providers
Homeowners in Oxfordshire are also discovering that they can move their electricity supplier to green energy providers. Suppliers who are focusing on hugely reducing their carbon footprint by providing green renewable energy to their customers, are using their customer’s money and putting it back into building new sources to generate even greater green energy. The energy is produced from sunmills, windmills, solar farms and hydro technology, providing 100% green energy to customers around Oxfordshire and the UK. Renewable energy is generated by green energy companies from natural resources such as water, sun and wind using specialist technology such as tidal, biomass and hydroelectric that stores the energy.
There are now quite a few companies in the UK who offer renewable and green energy, such as Ecotricity, Ovo and Good Energy. Some mainstream suppliers also offer green energy tariffs, sourcing a large proportion of the power from renewable sources, although it is not always 100% green. Homeowners can check how much renewable energy is offered by their supplier by looking at the ‘fuel mix’ information which is required to be published by Ofgem every year. Energy companies are made to report how much of their power has come from nuclear sources, gas, coal and renewable sources. Homeowners may assume that switching to renewable energy may be more expensive, however green energy suppliers are encouraged to keep their prices competitive to attract more homeowners, so it is certainly worth considering.
Solar Panels in Oxfordshire Home
Solar panels installed in the home are one of the biggest ways of reducing energy bills and looking after the environment for homeowners. Solar panel systems, also called solar photovoltaics absorb the sun’s energy and generate electricity.
Steve Evans from S E Electrical Services who is a local Oxfordshire electrician and regularly installs solar panel systems says, “There is no need for direct sunlight, as solar panels can still capture energy and generate electricity, even on cloudy days. The electricity that is produced can be enough to run a household, providing substantial amounts of electricity for lighting and household appliances.”
A solar panel system’s photovoltaic cells are made from a semi-conducting material (usually silicon) and the panels are usually placed on a roof to capture the maximum sunlight where the light is transferred through the layered cells of the panels. Solar electricity systems are also now available in solar tiles with the exact same concept that covers the complete circumference of the roof. Solar tiles can be double the cost of solar panels and are usually only considered if solar panels are not wanted by homeowners, or there is a need for planning. The benefits of solar electricity systems are:
- Reduce electricity bills
- Once system is installed and paid for, there are no running costs
- UK government pay out for your electricity
- Sell surplus electricity back to the grid
- Reduces carbon footprint – homeowners could save 1.5 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year
Oxfordshire businesses are also making the step to improve their carbon footprint by discovering how they can save 65% on their energy bills. Businesses are installing solar panels on their industrial units and now 1 in 10 independent businesses are successfully generating their own energy on site and operating their business on clean, green energy.
Installing LED Lighting
Around five years ago, LED lighting was considered a great idea in terms of saving energy, but it was often too expensive to install in Oxfordshire homes. Now that companies have researched and developed the green technology, LED bulbs have reduced in price, making them affordable to homeowners. LED is Light Emitting Diode and they were first available in the UK in the 1960’s, present in many household appliances and now including remote controls and flat screen TV’s. The largest challenge for the LED developers was to increase the strength of light that is emitted, so that LED’s can be used as bulbs in the home and the office. LED bulbs reduce energy bills as they only require a small amount of electricity to run, and although they are usually more expensive than other bulbs on the market, their energy saving benefits and the fact that they last much longer, is more of an advantage to homeowners. When you consider that Oxfordshire homeowners spend on average 7% of their electricity bills on lighting, the long-term savings are certainly worth making. Steve Evans from S E Electrical Services said that they are routinely changing homes and offices from conventional bulbs to LED’s because the overall saving can be huge.
Switch to a Hybrid Car?
Electrical vehicles are becoming more popular as car manufacturers are making more affordable cars that operate on electricity. Electric vehicles, known as EV’s have been reported as the ‘future of transport’ by The Financial Times and The Economist. Perhaps EV’s have not taken off as quickly as would have been expected for the reason that many drivers see potential issues with changing from a fully fuelled car to an electric. People worry that converting to an EV would confine them to the home or would need to be somewhere where the car could be easily charged. More recently designed hybrids have overcome the limitation on mileage on full charge, guaranteeing a lengthier drive where drivers can cruise on electric power and zero emissions. If drivers changed to EV’s, then the vast worldwide issue of pollution in cities could be largely reduced, hugely decreasing health issues and climate change. Steve Evans has said more people are thinking of EV’s because they can now power their homes from renewables and completely come of the grid, which means they can also charge their vehicles which effectively will cost them nothing.
Now that more studies and research is focused on renewable energy and how we can make it available to Oxfordshire homeowners, we are likely to see a transformation in home energy over the next decade. Installing more energy efficient appliances, switching to green energy suppliers and looking at more ways to reduce our carbon footprint as a nation, will not only have a huge impact on the environment but save us on household bills.
For a local Oxfordshire electrician who knows all about domestic and commercial electricity installations and repairs, contact Steve at S E Electrical Services.