Generate your own Energy
Become more energy independent and reduce reliance on the national grid, reducing your energy bills and your carbon foot print. Installing a battery which will allow you to capture energy from a solar panel during the day and discharge into your home as needed.
Batteries will also allow you to charge from the national grid at ‘off peak’ times, making a significant difference to the cost of electricity. It is also great for the environment - the National Physical Laboratory has calculated that they reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 0.3tonnes/year in an average UK household. Another great advantage, is that during periods of power failure, a battery can power essential appliances.
There are many ways to save energy, by making subtle changes to some to current services, including lighting, heating control and even your blinds.
Lighting is essential to our everyday living, not only for our comfort, relaxation and enjoyment, but also for our productivity, significantly influencing how we perform – at home and at work. We, as consumers, may not consider the synergy of generated and natural light and how we can harness the natural light to save energy in our home. However, it is an area which is continually being developed and enhanced by cutting edge companies like Lutron, Vantage and Control 4 who relentlessly invest in innovation to enable us to include sophisticated, energy efficient and environmentally sensitive options in our homes and workplaces. As well as enhancing our environment, lighting control and home automation can help save energy and reduce energy bills.
Not so dim!
Lighting control solutions offer scene settings that support the task being undertaken in that space – entertaining, working, relaxing, cooking etc. Selecting a lighting option to suit how we use our space makes us think about the lighting, so we adjust it more frequently, selecting scene settings with dimmed lighting and turning off when not required. The principal application engineer at Lutron Dr Ian Rowbottom explains “Dimming your lights even by 20% saves nearly 20% in energy. Dimming them more, saves even more.”
Turn it off if you’re out!
It’s all too easy to leave a room, or the house, especially on a bright summer day, with the lights left on…particularly if there are a number of you who share the space perhaps some of whom are less conscious of the bills than others! Wireless occupancy sensors can be used to great effect to detect and react when a room is empty and unused, turning lights off when spaces are vacant. Sensors can also automatically dim lights when enough daylight is present or use automated window shades, with the system adjusting electrical light levels so that the right amount of light is always present. And this sort of energy conscious light management system can be set up in a single room or an entire building saving significant wastage and costs.
Different lights – different efficiencies
Also relevant to energy consumption is that certain types of light source are more efficient than others; for example LED lighting, which offers a longer life with bulbs and diodes offering an outstanding operational life time expectation of up to 100,000 hours. This is 11 years of continuous operation, or 22 years of 50% operation.
With traditional incandescent light bulbs operate at 20% energy efficiency only, so 80% of the electricity is lost as heat. With the halogen ban coming into force across the EU in September 2018, inefficient halogen bulbs should be replaced as soon as possible. The long operational life time of LED acts as a multiplicator and helps achieve even more energy efficiency, so you can make significant energy savings in your home.
Save energy with your Heating Controls
The new range of heating control systems - Nest and Heatmiser respond intuitively so that heating is used efficiently when required and all without the need for re-programming. They help you reduce your energy consumption by turning the heating off when you're out and providing monthly reports on consumption. Imagine having all rooms at an ideal temperature and being able to change settings instantly to suit your immediate needs; not only will you optimise family comfort, you will maximise your energy savings too.
Save energy with your blinds and curtains
With the latest in technology, modern fabrics can diffuse light and absorb or deflect heat, allowing you to quickly adjust them to keep the warmth in during the winter and in the summer manage heat gain and protect your home from solar damage. With automated blinds and curtains you can either programme your blinds or curtains or use in combination with a heat sensor so that they automatically shut when the solar glare or heat is high.
As well as enhancing our living environment, home automation, particularly lighting, heating, blinds and curtains - can really help save energy in the home and reduce bills. In other words, we use less electricity to light and heat our homes, as we target needs and reduce losses!