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Household Energy Costs


Solar Air Conditioning

Solar Air Conditioning

An Article By Matt in Georgia USA

Introduction

It seems that with each year that goes by, the summers are getting hotter and the winters are getting colder. According to the National Climate Data Center, 7 out of 8 hottest years recorded were since 2001. Our planet's temperature is increasing rapidly due to the CO2 emission being set free when we are burning fossil fuels for our energy needs. When it comes to our home cooling system, it is a vicious circle: As our planet is turning up the heat, we are turning up the AC and this leads to more energy consumption, more burned fossil fuels and more CO2 emission discharge which eventually causes more heat, starting the process start over again.

 

Electricity Cost Calculator - World

Average electricity rates for various countries and regions

The average electricity rates for various countries in the world is presented below. It is NOT accurate. Rates are different across territories, they vary with time and the conversion to US$ rate is subject to exchange fluctuations, it is only show as it is interesting to see the difference across the world against one currency as a reference. The USA for example has rates ranging from $0.40 to $0.08 across the Country. Hawaii is the most expensive.

 

Air Conditioning

how much does it cost to use an air conditioner

How much does it cost to run an air conditioner?


This is an almost impossible general question to answer as it depends on so many different factors.

 

Lights

light bulb
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Lights

How much does it cost to have a light on for 1 hour?

Well it depend on the light.

   

Solid Wall Insulation

Solid Wall Insulation
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Solid Wall Insulation

If you have a very old house with solid walls then you are losing a lot of heat through the walls. Solid walls transmit heat at, at least twice the rate that uninsulated cavity walls do.

 

Solar Photovoltaic’s (Without FITS)

solar pv economics
 Cost:  High
 ROI:  13 ±3 Years (No FIT)
 Skill:  Specialist
 Energy Saving:  Medium
 CO2 Saving:  High
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

The terms solar energy and solar power are often used to describe technologies which collect the energy of the sun and redistribute it for our use. These terms are however a little ambiguous. For example, solar energy effectively drives our whole planet, wind, wave and fossil fuels could ultimately be regarded as solar energy.

 

Solar Hot Water

solar hot water costs and savings
 Cost:  High
 ROI:  11 to 62 Years (No RHI)
 Skill:  Specialist
 Energy Saving:  Medium
 CO2 Saving:  High
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

What is Solar hot Water?

Before we start on what, we need to cover where. Solar Hot Water is used all over the world, it is very effective especially if you live in a warm country, this article is about the UK where solar hot water is much less effective option than in for example Spain. We also do not cover any grant schemes here (Renewable Heat Incentive, RHI), they are changed to often! With a grant scheme you will find that an installation will be more cost effective.

 

Wind Power (Without FITS)

economics of a domestic windmill
 Cost:  High
 ROI:  16 to 32 Years (No FIT)
 Skill:  Specialist
 Energy Saving:  Medium
 CO2 Saving:  Medium
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

This section is only concerned with wind turbines that can be sensibly added to a residential home. Unlike other forms of renewable energy, wind power requires very little explanation. Most of us will understand that the wind rotates a wind turbine generating electricity.

 

Heat Pumps

economics of a various heat pumps
 Cost:  High
 ROI:  4 to 81 Years (No RHI)
 Skill:  Specialist
 Energy Saving:  Medium
 CO2 Saving:  High
 How much this measure costs to install: Low : Medium : High
 ROI is the time it takes to return the investment in fuel savings for an average gas heated 3 bed semi-detached house and assumes no government incentive schemes are used: Years
 How easy this is to do: DIY-Easy : DIY-Skilled : Specialist
 How much energy will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High
 How much Carbon Dioxide emission will be saved with this measure: Low : Medium : High

What are they?

There are three main types, these are:-

  • Ground Source Heat Pump (GSHP),
  • Water Source Heat Pump (WSHP), and
  • Air Source Heat Pump (ASHP)
 

Underfloor Insulation

Underfloor Insulation
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Underfloor Insulation

If you have timber floors, mineral wool insulation* can be used between the joists to insulate your floor. Assuming this is the only insulation measure installed in your house you can reduce the amount of heat loss through your floor by about a half...

 

Double Glazing

Double Glazing old window
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Double Glazing

Replacing your windows with double glazing to just save money does not actually make a lot of sense. You will reduce heat flow through you windows by at least a half...

 

Heat Loss

Heat Loss
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Heat Loss

If you have thermostatically controlled heating in your home, and most of us do, then your boiler will be controlled by the temperature measured in a particular area in your home i.e. where the thermostat is placed!

 

Cookers

cooker
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Cookers/Stoves

How much does it cost to use an oven?

How much does it cost to use a hob?

 

Hot Water Systems

Hot Water Systems
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Hot Water Systems

We cover here only spontaneous water heaters, they are generally fueled by either natural gas or electricity; however there are some units on the market using LPG, especially for caravan applications there are units that use butane or propane in gas cylinders.

   

Loft Insulation

Loft Insulation
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Loft Insulation

Since heat rises it follows that heat loss through the roof is a large contributor to energy waste in your house. By installing modern 290mm thick insulation in your loft space you could save up to 25% of your heating bill but perhaps more realistically by 20%.

 

Cavity Wall Insulation

Cavity Wall Insulation
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Cavity Wall Insulation

If you have cavities in your walls which are not already filled with insulation then you have a great opportunity to save quite a lot of money. Most household heat is lost through the walls and anything to slow this down helps.

     

Lagging

hot water cylinder lagging
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Lagging

It is fairly obvious that hot water pipes and hot water storage cylinders should be insulated to prevent heat loss. Newer cylinders already have insulation pre fitted...

     

Central Heating

Central Heating
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Central Heating

Generally central heating is the most energy and cost efficient way of heating a home, particularly those systems using fuels that are burned in a boiler. It is also very often one of those areas where you have the least control. Factors outside of your control may include:-

 

Heating Units

Heating Units
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Heating Units

The number of methods to provide heating to your accommodations is enormous.  Here we compare the potential running costs of various methods of heating.

 

Overall Household Energy Use

overall household energy use and costsIt is important to get overall household energy use into perspective to understand where to cut costs and when to invest in new equipment.

 


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