Sustainable Homes

Technology and saving energy both play a big part in our lives, whether it’s the latest electric cars or reusing the odd plastic carrier bag, we’re all encouraged to do our bit for the environment and that includes our homes, writes Tracy Hargreaves

When it comes to our homes saving money is key. With prices for most of our bills going up, it pays to look at ways of saving money. Solar panels are now a common sight on rooftops as homeowners are turning to an alternative source of energy. Sunlight is free so once you’ve paid for the installation of the solar panels, you can start producing your own electricity, which will significantly cut your utility bills and what’s more the electricity produced by solar panels is completely clean.

If you’re looking to move to a new house, why not look at an eco-house? These are becoming more popular. Wood is a naturally recyclable and carbon neutral building material. As such it lends itself perfectly to a wide range of eco projects. Post and beam frames are used structurally which gives designers a huge choice of build styles and insulation types. Timber frame construction is the most popular method of building in the developed world.

Insulated panels form the supporting structure replacing structural concrete block or steelwork. The excellent insulation and thermal efficiency of the injected panels, virtually eliminates the need for central heating, reducing living costs and energy bills.

You can generate electricity at home with small-scale wind turbines. About 40 per cent of all wind energy in Europe blows over the UK, making it an ideal country for domestic turbines. The cost of a system will depend on the size and the mounting method, whether it’s roof or pole mounted. Not only will you cut your carbon footprint, but you also get paid for what you generate.

Change all the lights in your home to energy efficient lighting. Introduce skylights and more natural light so it will reduce demand on your energy resources and when buying new or replacing home appliances, look for the energy ratings label on appliances and consider the size that you require.

Remember to insulate your home and have good fitting doors and windows, it will make all the difference to those draughts in the winter months.

We can all do our bit to reduce our carbon footprint to provide a better environment for the future. What will you do?



Tedd Walmsley

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Tedd Walmsley managing director of Live Magazines shares his views on the latest topics in media.

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