Big steps towards a better environment

We are becoming increasingly aware of the steep rise in energy costs and our own environmental responsibilities - this is persuading us to consider making our homes more energy efficient. Many of us have already started to look at ways to improve the efficiency of our homes, by insulating our lofts and cavity walls, installing low energy light bulbs, replacing ill-fitting, single glazed windows & doors and if not already in place, would have considered purchasing a smart meter to tell us how much or little energy we are using, in a bid to change our lifestyle habits (and reduce our energy bills!)

The Green Deal is a programme aimed at encouraging us to take greater steps towards a ‘greener’ lifestyle. Under the Green Deal, we are able to buy home energy efficiency improvements without having to front up the cash. Instead, ‘loans’ are available from “Green Deal Providers”, who will get their money back through our energy bills. In theory, millions of homes should be able to benefit from energy efficiency improvements. Owner-occupiers and tenants will both be able to reap the rewards through reduced energy bills and the environment will benefit from a reduction in the carbon emissions from power stations. Reports indicate that take of the Green Deal, since its launch, has been disastrously low. Indicative of the economic climate or poor marketing – who knows? But Government cannot afford for this initiative to fail.

Heating systems (for heating & hot water) are claimed to be responsible for 84% of the energy consumed in the average UK home. The single, most effective way to address the energy efficiency of our homes is to replace the conventional gas, oil or all-electric (fossil fuel based) heating system with a more efficient alternative. The Green Deal coincides with another government scheme - The Renewable Heat Incentive Scheme (RHI) which is already available for commercial projects. The existing scheme is to be expanded this summer for payments in Spring 2014, to cover additional technologies and to offer a domestic scheme for individual households. In the interim, one off ‘grants’ are available under what is known as The Renewable Heat Premium Payment Scheme (RHPP) for a range of renewable heat technologies, including air to water heat pump systems. The general idea is that the Green Deal and the RHI will co-exist to encourage investment in energy efficiency improvements not only through better insulation but also by incentivising the adoption of renewable heat technologies.

Space Air Solutions Ltd., is an MCS registered company that specialises in the supply of Daikin Heat Pumps, including those that have been designed to replace existing fossil fuel central heating systems with minimal disruption. Already highly popular in Continental Europe as their reliability is excellent, maintenance is low, they are generally compact, quiet and offer remarkably high operating efficiencies. Heat Pump systems can supply more than 3 times the heat output of a conventional boiler for the same amount of energy input.

For householders to qualify for the domestic RHI when it is launched, or the RHPP, certain eligibility criteria apply. Heat pumps for example, must be MCS certified and installed by an MCS registered company, as this provides consumer assurance that both have gone through rigorous, independent assessment processes. In most cases, subject to ensuring your property has a reasonable level of insulation, it is a simple matter of selecting a system that suits your requirements and adapting to a different physical and visual concept for achieving comfort in the home. Some heat pumps can be combined with solar thermal energy, thus saving even more on energy bills, and protecting our environment.

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