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greenenergy posted a blog entry in Green EnergyIf you have noticed that your energy costs are on the rise, there are some things that you can do to improve your energy usage and put some extra money in your pocket. Here are a few ideas that may help you avoid a hike in your energy bill. Consider Switching to a New Provider If you have been with the same energy provider for several years, you may want to look into the new businesses in your area that offer electricity services. Over the past few years, there has been a major gap between the standard variable tariffs that most people in the area pay for their energy and the cheaper fixed-price deals. Those who have been with the same provider for a while may want to consider going with a different company that has recently started offering their services in the UK, such as Selectra UK. Make Your Payments Using the Right Method If you have been paying for your monthly energy charges by cash or cheque, you could be paying out excessive fees that are unnecessary. It is possible for you to save even more on your energy costs if you choose to prepay or use the direct debit option that will automatically debit your bank account when your bill is due. The best way for you to manage your payment methods is to create an account online and manage things from there. This will allow you to keep up with all your different payment methods and find out which require an additional fee. Obtain More Control Over Your Heating For homeowners in the UK, the best way to save on your energy costs is to look at any issues with your heating. Most of the energy used in homes in the UK is due to heating. Many people consider their heating bills to be the same as fuel costs but what they don’t know is that what they are paying out for the most is heat loss. Simple Fixes Around the Home That Will Decrease Your Energy Costs If you believe that your energy bill is higher than it should be, you should look at the reasons for heating loss in your home and fix any issues that you find. You may need to add more insulation to your home or check the windows to see if there are any cracks in the framework. Once this is taken care of, you can also turn down your thermostat to a comfortable level and leave it there. You can also time your heating sensibly by turning off your heat while everyone is gone for the day or lowering it at night when you can use more blankets to stay warm. You may even want to use radiator valves to zone the heat in each room so that bedrooms and bathrooms receive less than family rooms. You don’t have to live in a cold home to see a major difference in your heating bill. Just make some routine changes throughout your home and with your thermostat to ensure that you lose less heat and place more money inside your wallet.
LizzieWeakley posted a blog entry in Lizzie Weakley's Green BlogCreating an energy-efficient environment can benefit you in many ways. It can cut down your electric bill and provide you with the means to claim a tax break in some cases. If you have not yet transformed to living an energy-efficient life, these tips can help you get started. Have Your Insulation Checked The first and quickest way that you can be energy-efficient is by checking the insulation in your home. You contact a professional to have an inspection. If the inspection reveals poor insulation, then you know you need to tighten things up to maximize energy efficiency. Buy Energy Star Household Items The golden rule of energy efficiency is not getting too attached to one's old appliances. Look for the Energy Star logo whenever you shop for any household appliances. Examples of items that you may need to replace are items such as washing machines, clothes washers, refrigerators and the like. The Energy Star symbol is a guarantee that your new device is going to use as little energy as possible to do the job it needs to do. Renovate by Swapping Out Major Equipment You will need to conduct some major upgrades if you want to receive the tax breaks and truly get the most out of your energy efficiency potential. For example, you may want to replace your current boiler with one from a company like Nationwide Boiler. Obtain a Special Energy Measurement Sensor Many people would use less energy if they could get on-demand usage stats. Therefore, you may want to buy a gadget or device that measures the amount of energy that you are consuming on any given day. You can then manipulate the amount of energy that you use. Such devices do exist, although they are probably few and far between. Regularly Maintain Your Appliances Another way that you can ensure that you maintain an energy efficient environment is if you perform regular maintenance on your appliances. For example, you can dust your air conditioner and change the filters so it doesn't have to work harder than normal to cool the room. You can do the same with the heating system, fridge and other appliances. Have a professional come in and provide maintenance to the items that you don't quite understand. Use the previously mentioned ideas to get yourself started on an efficient path. You can apply the tips to a business or a large-scale project, as well.
Solar energy is one of the most useful forms of renewable energy because solar panels and the sun's own energy can be harnessed directly. Technically, solar energy is the radiant light and heat energy produced by the sun as it sends off massive energy from constant nuclear fusion. Here on Earth, though, solar energy is harnessed via "solar collectors" that convert light energy into more usable heat energy. Solar thermal collectors snatch up the heat by absorbing sunlight and solar radiation. Solar collectors can, in fact, refer to a number of different devices designed to harness the sun's energy. Roof-mounted solar hot water panels and solar air heaters are what a lot of homeowners might already be familiar with; concentrated solar power plants use more sophisticated and industrial-strength solar collectors. Concentrated Solar Power Plants and Residential Solar Options Concentrated solar power plants collect solar energy in a slightly different way. Solar towers and solar thermal collector dishes, which look similar to satellite dishes, are the two ways that concentrated solar power plants generate electricity by heating liquids that, in turn, power turbines aligned with electric generators. The fossil fuels that powered the industrial revolution did a great job of bringing greater infrastructure, communication, transportation and technology to the 20th century. The 21st century, though, will see renewables like solar, wind and geothermal playing a much more dominant role. Some people think ill of solar radiation (infrared and ultraviolet), but it can benevolently be used to power the lives of literally billion of people around the world. Solar Thermal and Photovoltaic Solar Power Roof-mounted solar hot water panels, photovoltaic modules and concentrated solar power plants can provide that much-needed energy. The two kinds of solar power harnessed today are solar thermal and solar photovoltaic. The first kind of solar energy—solar thermal—is what most people automatically think of when they think of solar power. Solar thermal systems convert sunlight into thermal energy with the help of solar panels. So, what exactly are solar thermal systems good for? A lot of things that homeowners would find useful, as it happens. Solar thermal systems can be put towards space heating as well as heating water via a solar hot water system. Solar photovoltaic systems, on the other hand, entail converting sunlight directly into electricity with the assistance of photovoltaic cells. (Photovoltaics is the conversion of light—in this case, sunlight—into electricity with semiconductors and the photovoltaic effect.) Photovoltaic systems can be incorporated into homes, electric vehicles and green building designs to ensure energy independence and overall energy savings. The best part is that solar panels are incredibly reliable, need little maintenance and can last up to thirty years when you purchase from a reliable solar panel manufacturer. At the outside, solar panels only lose about half a percentage of their performance per year, which means that even after a generation, your home solar panels will still be harnessing solar energy at approximately 90% efficiency compared to when you originally installed them! The other nice thing about solar is that the Consolidated Appropriations Act provides homeowners a 30% personal tax credit for home PV and solar thermal technology purchases. Solar Power and Your Energy Bills Solar energy facilities are right now actually using something known as "concentrated solar power" to do things like boil water and convert sunlight more directly into electricity. Utility-sized solar energy uses concentrated solar power systems, power towers and dish engines to deliver megawatts of usable electricity to homes and businesses around the country. Solar energy is but one of the amazing forms of green energy out there today—renewable energy sources like wind, rain, geothermal, and hydro (water) energy are also part of the green energy picture. As you look at data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration you'll see that the eight most popular green energy sources of energy have all experienced an increase in usage over the last three years. How Much Can You Really Save? On a smaller scale, you and your family can expect to save a significant amount of money from month to month on your energy expenses by outfitting your home with roof solar panels. The exact amount that you save will have a lot to do with the region of the country that you're located in, possible buyback plans with utility companies in your area, the amount of electricity that your family uses, and the number and efficiency of your home solar panels. The cool thing about solar power is that there are a lot of tax rebate incentives for siding with solar, and solar power might even allow your family to send your electrical meter spinning backward. How? Although you can, of course, still take all the energy that you need from the utility grid in your area, after installing solar panels there's a good chance that you can become energy-independent. Perhaps, at that point, you might even sell back excess energy to your utility company for credit! That can potentially save you thousands of dollars per year since, according to the U.S. Department of Energy, heating and cooling constitute the largest energy expenses for most homes. Remember, solar energy is great for space heating. Save Year Round...and Sidestep Peak Rates The important thing to bear in mind with solar energy and your potential to save thousands every year on your energy expenses is that solar power systems consistently produce the best results when the sun is shining brightest.