SAVING ENERGY AND SAVING EMISSIONS CAN ALSO SAVE MONEY
‘A world you like, With a climate you like’ is the economic perspective which has attracted the UK Government to backing the EU Commission Directorate –General’s campaign to initiate action on practical solutions on climate change.
It is to be hoped that this will break the false link between emissions reduction measures and short term economic considerations that have led to short term payback policies and the ultimate need for long term solutions. Even the otherwise well aimed Green Deal and Green Bank are restricting action to short term payback options, and in effect discouraging more cost effective long term solutions.
With every existing building being tombstones to the ‘age of fossil fuels’ – they all need to be upgraded to zero carbon by 2050. Just thirty seven year is not enough time to upgrade 26 million houses several times in incremental short term fixes.
The full upgrading to zero carbon involves both energy conservation measures and alternative energy installations working holistically together – and all need to be designed and installed to deliver zero carbon performance from ambient energy resources from day one.
Present policies are encouraging partial low cost measures to fit in with short term payback – BUT even before these are installed they are out of date, because they are inadequate in the context of zero energy installation.
For example cavity wall insulation and loft insulation cannot provide the reduction in heat losses necessary for achieving zero carbon performance levels and more insulation will have to be added at a later date along with air tight sealing of the external envelope and introduction of a vapour barrier to prevent interstitial condensation.
The installation of a condensing boiler is irrelevant to the eventual reduction in thermal energy losses and domestic hot water provision that will eliminate the need for a boiler of any kind.
The omission of alternative energy systems on the basis of failing in short term payback, puts solar heating, PV and wind turbine power, permanent mechanical ventilation with heat recovery and heat pumps – all necessary for zero carbon - out of question until some future date – when it will probably be too late.
The financial benefit of ‘zero carbon’ installations is a corresponding reduction in energy bills, say at least 80% - which provides payback on a long term funding of say 15 – 20 years – and that could well be shortened considerably in view of prospective 14% per year increases in imported energy prices.
ECOZEST aims to bring together a zero carbon package that will free homes from imported energy completely – i.e. Free Energy Homes of which more later.