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In spite of rapidly increasing bills, many people are still spending more than they need to on their utilities. More often than not, this is due to careless habits and a number of common myths and misconceptions about saving energy. The following seeks to dispel some of these misunderstandings in order to help you cut down on your electricity consumption significantly.
Appliances which Are Turned Off Consume No Energy
The reality is, that if an electrical appliance is turned off, it will usually still be drawing some power unless it is disconnected from the power socket entirely. Some appliances even draw as much energy when they are supposedly switched off as they do when they are actually in use. A great deal of modern household appliances ranging from televisions to computers have a standby mode. While on standby, such appliances may consume less power, they are consuming something nonetheless. Save energy by ensuring that devices are switched off at the power strip or unplugged entirely. Likewise, unplug mobile phone and laptop chargers when they are not in use, since they will continue to draw power otherwise.
Fluorescent Lights Are Unsightly, Inefficient Strip Lights Often Found in Offices
While this is partly true, modern fluorescent lightbulbs are actually extremely energy-efficient, consuming around a fifth of the amount of power as the traditional incandescent lightbulb. They might be more expensive and take a short time to reach full brightness once switched on, but changing all of the lighting fixtures in your home or office will make a very significant saving on your electricity bills. These bulbs fit into the same sockets as any other standard bulb. Also, fluorescent lightbulbs last, on average, about ten times longer.
Maintaining a Constant Temperature with Your Thermostat is More Efficient
The cost of heating a home normally accounts for the majority of a household’s utility bills. However, many people assume that keeping the thermostat on a constant temperature throughout the day and night is more energy-efficient than turning it down during the night and up during the day. In reality, the opposite is usually the case, and it is typically much more energy-efficient to have your heating on at a slightly higher temperature for several hours per day at two or more separate intervals. Additionally, lowering your thermostat temperature by one or two degrees makes little different to the ambient temperature while cutting energy consumption by as much as ten percent.
Setting Your Boiler to a Higher Temperature Will Make It Heat Water Faster
This is simply not true, since it will take the same amount of time for the boiler to reach a set temperature regardless. If you set your hot water boiler to ninety degrees, it will still take the same amount of time to reach seventy degrees, which is normally an optimal temperature for most requirements. Setting it higher simply wastes money by heating water more than necessary. The same applies to air conditioning units and central heating systems.
Spreading of industrialization world over and population explosion, our natural resources have been ever shrinking. In India, the last two decades the rise of spending power of the middle class has increased their energy consumption drastically. Each and every family have around 2 to 4 bedroom flats, with one or more television, fridge, Air conditioners, and lighting to illuminate their homes . Over dependence on non-renewable sources of energy like coal powered energy stations screams for the expansion of energy saving systems by bringing in LED lighting company in India. The LED lights are designed in such a manner, that they can last longer and consume a lot less energy than their previous counterparts. A LED lighting company proudly states that their products with help the new urban India reduce its ever growing energy consumption drastically, with new and improved array of products. They boast, with their enhanced technology they have created a new range of products which with not only last longer and stay brighter but will also be cost effective as well.
Urban India is moving a step ahead with the rest of the developed world in the area of good quality LED Lighting, with the presence of LED lighting company in India. LED lighting Delhi, have a wide variety of products which aims to brighten up the streets of the urban jungle. They are revved up to meet the ever growing demands of LED lighting services by these products which not only have longer life, but also encompass smaller size, better design, light output with no ultra violet and infra red radiation that is harmful to our eyes. They are a lot safer to use because of lower voltage and lower heat operation.
A new LED lighting company in India said that LED lighting is the future, and the next wave of revolutionary lighting systems. LED products are more brilliant and emit higher color saturation when compared to conventional light sources. You get different color effect from the same light source, which is good for home use for decorative purposes in festivals like Deepavali. These products from LED lighting company are also said to have unbreakable plastic bulbs, weather proof, and shock proof to a certain degree. Also has silent operation and fast switching capabilities. Development of solar powered LED lighting India has even a brighter future.
LED lighting services have proven to be a the best lighting solution for places which need to be lit for a long duration of time such as streets, parking areas, reception areas, living rooms, hallways, restaurants, offices, kitchens ,lobbies etc. They do have more of a initial cost, but due to their efficiency, longevity, more durable compared to conventional breakable fluorescent bulbs, and also reduces trips to the doctor because of low UV imitations they turn out to be more cost effective solution. LED lighting services have also been developed to make benefit of the best renewable source of energy Sun. LED lighting services are the most efficient lighting service available in market today, reducing the damage done to your pocket and suits your varied needs.
Reference website: www.ikioledlighting.com
Home energy assessment refers to the process of inspection, survey and estimation of the flow of energy in a particular building. This activity is carried out with the intent to reduce the amount of energy consumed in a building. Special emphasis is given to the fact that the resultant solution does not cause any negative effect on the output energy.
The process of energy audit is done by a professional, who surveys the heating, ventilation and air-conditioning or HVAC system of a residence. Advanced equipment like infrared cameras and blower doors are utilized to determine the appropriate solution for an effective heating and cooling of the house. Such services can be easily availed from an expert heating contractor. Their professionals carry out a thorough inspection of the entire building, beginning with the walls, ceilings & floors to doors, windows and skylights. While carrying out the process of surveying, all the places of leakage and points of infiltration of air are taken into consideration. The audit also takes into account the physical condition and efficiency of the various mechanical systems of the house. These may include the heating, air conditioning and ventilation equipment.
The assessment is made while keeping in mind factors like the local climate, roof overhang, solar orientation and the energy consumption of the house like electricity, natural gas or other energy sources. Apart from surveying the heating, cooling and ventilation systems of a premise, there are other factors that these experts take into account. These include the size of the premise where the system is to be installed, the age of the building and the renovation done to the same. Size of the premise matters a lot, as a large air conditioner will be unable to efficiently dehumidify the air, whereas a small HVAC system will be ineffective in creating comfortable conditions inside the premises. Based on such findings a heating contractor suggests remedial solutions to improve the energy consumption of the building, without making a compromise on the energy output.
The solutions offered by these experts also include Westchester heating services like furnace installation, boilers, radiant flooring, heat pumps and hybrid heat systems & geothermal systems. The cooling solutions, on the other hand, include installation of efficient and effective central air conditioning system together with cooling equipment. Maintenance and load calculations also form a part of the cooling solutions. Additionally, the cooling solutions are constituted by air filtration & humidification service and the ultraviolet light system.
A new national survey notes an interesting return to aesthetics being more important than energy efficiency in the consumers decision making process with regards to vinyl replacement windows. I believe there are two reasons for the shift. First, there may be some level of expectation that most products provide enhanced levels of energy efficiency because of the governments stimulus tax credit. Many manufacturers, because of the stringency of the requirements, scampered to find products that qualified. The other reason for the change is that the higher end consumer, who previously considered vinyl a lesser quality product and would only look at high cost wood and clad windows, now, because of the economic realities, are ready to look at vinyl as a lower cost, more energy efficient, alternative. Aesthetics have always been a driving force in that customers decision-making process.
Vinyl windows have been around for over thirty years, realizing more and more acceptance from consumers for various reasons. Many focus group studies have been undertaken by various manufacturers and one of the most interesting things that has been learned is that the one main thing that consumers that have otherwise loved their vinyl windows didnt like was the fact that they had to give up glass viewing area. Unfortunately, most manufacturers dont talk about that issue with the customer because of structural decisions that have required their vinyl extrusions to be big and boxy, leaving the customer to notice it only AFTER their windows are installed and too late to make a change. One of the reasons that so many products have big, bulky extrusions has to do with the increased necessity of energy efficient mainframes to meet Energy Star guidelines. Some manufacturers have made the investment in products that, in essence, allow you to have your cake and eat it too.
One of the interesting things about vinyl is that it shares a couple of properties of steel. One of the properties is that every 90 bend in vinyl increases its structural integrity. Many of the bulky, boxy mainframes available use many 90 bends for structural strength, but this increases the overall bulk of the product. The aesthetics conscious consumer is looking for a product that combines looks structure and energy efficiency.
One rarely discussed difference in products is the variations in the white color. Most customers that have white trim have painters white. Many manufacturers, including some that have some of the lowest advertised prices, still use the original white vinyl color, which has a blue or black tint to it. Again, this typically is not discussed at the time of purchase and is only discovered after the products are installed, too late to make a change. Make sure the home improvement consultant matches their white to your white.
It’s a homeowner’s responsibility to make sure that he or she is using appliances that are energy efficient. Replacing a twenty-year-old refrigerator is likely to reduce your electricity bill because a new ENERGY STAR-rated icebox has been designed to do more while using less of the juice. Energy efficiency, however, is not just a concern for the little guy. Utility companies must worry about “line losses,” the electricity that is lost as a result of the inherent inefficiency of the generation and transmission system. In places like Texas and New York, however, engineers are thinking of ways to prevent this waste. Best of all, the savings will be passed on to you, the consumer.
What causes this loss of energy in the first place? There are many reasons, including the flaws in electrical cables and the natural tendency toward entropy. (That’s the principle that says that systems tend to become more disordered over time.) Jim Landers, a columnist for the Dallas Morning News, explains that small amounts of electricity turn into heat as it runs through a conductor. This is one of the reasons that power adaptors can feel warm to the touch when you try to unplug them. This unwanted heat isn’t such a big deal for appliances with short cables. When you think of power transmission cables and the hundreds of miles they can traverse, you can understand why line losses are such a big concern.
In Texas, line loss results in the waste of 6.5% of all the Texas electricity generated in the Lone Star State. While that might not sound like very much, it starts to add up when you think of it in terms of your pocketbook. For every one hundred dollars you pay for Texas electricity, inefficiencies account for $6.50. One way to reduce that amount is to replace old, lower capacity transmission cables with more advanced lines that can handle the kind of high voltages that keep the lights on in modern cities. Landers note that there are plans in place to connect the wind farms of West Texas to the rest of the state via 345-kilovolt lines that boast only 4% inefficiency.
Much like Texans, New Yorkers know what it’s like to need a vast supply of reliable New York electricity. To reduce the effect of line losses, engineers have developed synchrophasors. According to the North American SynchroPhasor Initiative (NASPI), computers can measure voltage running through a line at very high speed. With this detailed information about the flow of energy, utilities can better manipulate the grid to reduce the stress on the system and eliminate some of that waste. For example, if a power plant malfunctions, thereby causing the voltage in the system to fluctuate, the use of synchrophasors allows authorities to quickly address the situation before it causes increased waste. (Or worse, an interruption in supply.)
Matthew L. Wald, a writer for the New York Times, sees the benefits of synchrophasors, reminding readers that current monitoring devices only provide measurements every two to four seconds. The kind of synchrophasors that are being installed in New York and in the Midwest are able to provide feedback thirty times a second, allowing computers to regulate energy flow more fortuitously.
The devices themselves aren’t too expensive: approximately two to three thousand dollars for each synchrophasor. The real cost is derived from the computer and networking system that allows it to interact with the energy grid. Some of this money comes from the Energy Department, but even if residents end up paying to equip the grid with this technology, it’s the kind of wise long-term strategy that will result in long-term savings.
While it certainly will not be cheap to invest so much to establish a more efficient electric grid, it’s also a vital part of a greener future. Wind farms and solar facilities are (just like old-fashioned natural gas and coal power generation plants) often located far away from densely populated areas. As a result, utilities must run miles and miles of cable, resulting in greater line loss. If alternative energies can be more easily worked into the grid, we’ll all save money and enjoy a healthier environment. So the next time you read about improvements being made by state or local electric utilities, remember that something as simple as the cable strung between your home and the power plant can have a big effect on your monthly bill.
The 179D tax deduction came about as part of the Energy Policy Act of 2005 (EPAct). Congress wanted to incentivize the utilization of energy-efficiency components in a building to one of the following parties:
1.The owner of the building
3.The primary designer of an energy-efficient government building. (Architect, engineer, contractor etc.)
The deduction available is up to $.60 per sq./ft. for lighting, HVAC and building envelope, creating potential for $1.80 per sq./ft. if all three components qualify. These deductions are applicable to buildings that were either built or retrofitted after 12/31/2005.
Since EPAct came into effect, the IRS has provided interim guidance on EPAct deductions through several additional notices. IRS Notice 2006-52 describes in detail the rules and how to ensure a building qualifies if it was a new build or a retrofit. It requires the taxpayer to obtain certification that the property satisfies the energy efficiency requirements of 179D and specifies the software that must be used to calculate energy and power consumption. To further the cause, the IRS issued Notice 2008-40, which allowed a government building (non-taxpaying entity) to pass the deduction to the “primary designer” of the qualifying assets.
Until recently, taxpayers looking to claim the 179D deduction were limited by the three year statute of limitations for filing amended income tax returns for a particular tax year. That has changed with the issuance of Revenue Procedure 2011-14, which will allow some taxpayers to bypass this statute of limitations and claim this deduction all the way back to 1/1/2006 without filing one single amended income tax return. Taxpayers who wish to take the deduction without amending any returns will file a Form 3115 (Application for Change in Accounting Method) and will get to take the entire “catch up” deduction on the return that is being filed. This means that a taxpayer could potentially claim deductions from 2006-2010 (or 2011) all on one return and significantly reduce their tax burden, if not eliminate it altogether.
Deciding whether or not to amend returns or file for a Change in Accounting Method (Form 3115) is entirely dependent upon each taxpayers situation. If taxable income was higher in open years and therefore the taxpayer was in a higher tax bracket, it still may make sense to amend those returns. The impact of Revenue Procedure 2011-14 will also depend on whether or not any deductions have already been claimed or returns have been amended. A thorough analysis of each taxpayers scenario by an advisor experienced in 179D is advantageous to determining the best approach and claiming the maximum deduction allowed under the law.
Aluminium lean-to conservatories provide superb thermal and energy efficiency none more so than lean-to conservatories designed by Apropos.
Apropos lean-to conservatories conform to the highest standards and regulations for thermal and energy efficiency; meaning that, in the colder months, their lean-to conservatories can be enjoyed as much as they would be in the summer months.
First the statistics…
Apropos lean-to conservatories offer one of the best thermal efficiency ratings on the market – with a structural U-value of 1.6 W/mK and a centre pane U-value of 1.1 W/mK.
What does this mean?…
It means that Apropos bespoke lean-to conservatories are super efficient at retaining heat during cold weather. Conservatories of old were chilly places in the winter months, and, more often than not, shut off from the rest of the property by external-style patio doors. Not so Apropos modern lean-to conservatories, which act as hubs for family life all-year around.
The lean-to conservatories designed and manufactured by Apropos provide a welcoming space for all the family to enjoy, whatever the weather outside. Indeed, lean-to conservatories need not be partitioned off with bulky doors. Beautiful archways can be created to allow access into the lean-to conservatories at all times with householders safe in the knowledge that warm, inviting environments will be awaiting them in their lean-to conservatories.
At this time of year, with cold weather fast approaching, it is reassuring to know that lean-to conservatories will withstand the harsh winter months.
Of course, lean-to conservatories can be used as sun rooms or even as greenhouses in the summer months, with amazing folding sliding doors allowing wonderful freedom to maximise the garden; but lean-to conservatories can also be used as dining rooms, living rooms, and kitchen extensions throughout the year.
Indeed, in a few weeks time many families will either be preparing or tucking into their Christmas dinners in their own lean-to conservatories; enjoying the magnificent settings that lean-to conservatories provide for such occasions. Indeed, should it be a white Christmas then the picture will be complete. Proof indeed that lean-to conservatories are super family places to be enjoyed whatever the weather.
If you want to learn more about lean-to conservatories please request a brochure at http://www.apropos-conservatories.com/contact-us.php, or a free design consultation at http://www.apropos-conservatories.com/design-consultation. Alternatively, telephone 0800 328 0033.
There are only minor changes to the energy efficiency provisions in the newly released BCA 2012, volumes 1 and 2. Mostly the changes are to terminology and explanatory information, intended to clarify several of the provisions. There has been one change to Table J1.3a in Section J which is of particular note; the required R-Value for roof and ceiling construction in climate zones 4 and 5 have been amended to align with climate zones 1, 2 and 3.
See below for a full list of changes.
BCA 2012 Volume 1 “” Section J:
J0.2(a)(ii) – The reference to the 2006 edition of the ABCB Protocol for House Energy Rating Software Version has been removed. The deletion is a consequence of the recognition of NatHERS as the appropriate accreditation scheme for house energy rating software.
Table J1.3a – Climate zones 4 and 5 have been amended to align with climate zones 1, 2 and 3 for the required R-Value for roof and ceiling construction.
Table J1.3b – The table has been expanded to include values for when the minimum R-Value of ceiling insulation required to satisfy J1.3(a) is less than R2.5.
Table J2.4c – The heat shading multiplier figure for climate zone 8 South orientation sector, where the G value is more than 100 mm but not more than 500 mm and has a P/H value of two, has been amended from 0.75 to 0.50.
J5.2(a)(vii) – The specific examples of applications described that could attain an exemption for an outdoor air economy cycle have been replaced with the generic term of ‘process related applications’, with the existing examples now referenced in the Guide to Volume One.
J5.2(b)(ii) – The defined term ‘outdoor air’ has been included in the provision for clarification.
J5.2(b)(iii)(B) – Minimum ventilation requirements when an atmospheric contaminant monitoring system is installed in a carpark have been relocated to the more appropriate location of F4.11(b) and revised to include a more practical control strategy.
J5.2(d)(iv) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from complying with the power for mechanical ventilation requirements of J5.2(b)(iii).
J5.3(b)(iii) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from complying with the time switch requirements of J5.3.
J5.5(b)(iv) – A new sub-clause has been included to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from the miscellaneous exhaust system requirement of J5.5(a).
J6.1 – The application of part has been reinstated to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from compliance with J6.2, J6.3 and J6.5(a)(ii).
Table J6.2a Note – Note 4 to the table has been amended to clarify that a control device which is required by J6.3 is not an allowable adjustment factor under Table J6.2b.
J6.3(d)(ii)(A) – Clarification has been added that a security key card reader must register a person entering and leaving the building.
J8.1 – The application of part has been amended to exempt a Class 8 electricity network substation from compliance with the requirements of Part J8.
Specification J5.4 – Note 2 has been amended to cover applications where local clearances Table 2a adjoining plant do not allow for the installation of insulation.
BCA 2012 Volume 2 “” Part 3.12:
3.12 – A new defined term “house energy rating software” has been included to nominate the acceptable accrediting national scheme for software used to assess the thermal efficiency of a dwelling envelope.
3.12 Explanatory Information – New explanatory information has been included to explain the purpose of the NatHERS scheme.
3.12 – As a consequence of changes to the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme the defined term “Renewable Energy Certificate” has been deleted and replaced by a new defined term ‘Small-scale Technology Certificate’.
3.12.0 Explanatory Information – The explanatory information regarding the two options for complying with 3.12.1 to 3.12.4 has been amended to clarify the delineation between the Energy Rating and the Elemental Provisions options.
22.214.171.124 – Reference to the ABCB Protocol for House Energy Rating Software has been removed. The deletion is a consequence of the recognition of NatHERS as the appropriate accreditation scheme for house energy rating software.
126.96.36.199 Explanatory Information – The explanatory information has been amended to correct the terminology used and to align with the solar absorptance values of Table 188.8.131.52a.
Table 184.108.40.206b – The table has been expanded to include values for when the minimum R-Value of ceiling insulation required to satisfy 220.127.116.11(a) is less than R2.5.
Table 18.104.22.168 Note 2 – Note 2 has been amended to clarify the relationship of ventilation opening area and the presence of ceiling fans or evaporative coolers in determining if a habitable room has High air movement.
Table 22.214.171.124 Explanatory Information – Note 4 of the explanatory information has been simplified to a tabular example demonstrating the relationship of ventilation opening area and the presence of ceiling fans.
126.96.36.199(b)(iii) – The term ‘area of floor’ has been replaced with the defined term “floor area” for consistency with Part 3.8.5 and Part 3.12.2.
Table 188.8.131.52 – The term “area of floor” has been replaced with the defined term ‘floor area’ for consistency with Part 3.8.5 and Part 3.12.2.
184.108.40.206(a)(iii) – Clarification has been added that the lighting provisions for a Class 10a building only apply to Class 10a buildings associated with a Class 1 building.
220.127.116.11(b) – Reference to the defined term “Renewable Energy Certificate” has been deleted and replaced by “Small-scale Technology Certificate” as a consequence of changes made to the Australian Government’s Renewable Energy Target scheme.
As a roofing contractor in the state of Wisconsin, I continually field requests for light colored (reflective) roofing for the purpose of energy efficiency. A white or light colored roof will reflect sunlight, keep the building cooler, and reduce energy consumptionCorrect?
It depends on where you live and the insulation value of the building.
Most roofing material comes in a variety of colors. EPDM (rubber) membrane, for instance, is a very common low slope roofing material that comes in black or white. In the case of EPDM, the white color is much more expensive. Many consumers will justify spending more on white instead of black EPDM since they believe that there will be energy savings. Asphalt shingles come in a variety of different colors from light to dark. Some shingle manufacturers, such as GAF, have marketed Cool Series asphalt shingles that are designed to be more reflective of sunlight.
Significant studies have been conducted to study the effect of roof color on energy consumption. Heat transfer will occur from the roof into the interior of the building if there is a low level of insulation and resulting low R-Value (thermal resistance). As R-value and thermal resistance increases with better insulation systems, the type and color of roofing material becomes less and less important. In general, an R-value of 30 or more negates any energy efficiency gains from white or light colored roofing material in hot climates. It stands to reason the most effective way to decrease a buildings energy consumption is to increase insulation levels.
There are situations in which the building structure itself cannot be insulated more effectively and a low R-value cannot be avoided. What color of roofing material would be best in this situation? It depends on where you live and the climate. Do you have more heating degree days or cooling degree days? Here in Wisconsin, we definitely have more heating degree days. Therefore, a dark colored roof will help heat interior building spaces and decrease energy consumption over time. In colder climates, dark colored roofs are the most energy efficient. The opposite is true for hot climates. It would be well worth the extra investment in purchasing white roofing material in Southern Florida. Central regions of the United States are considered color-neutral. In these areas, studies have shown that energy efficiency is not impacted by roof color.
With the increase in roofing material choices, it has become increasingly important that roof designers, contractors, and facilities managers consider the right roofing material for the right situation. Reflective roofing has become a knee-jerk reaction for some designers and contractors who do not take climate zones or insulation levels into consideration. Focus should remain on insulation systems and improving insulation value when optimizing energy efficiency. Advances in insulation technology have created opportunities to increase insulation value in almost any circumstance. Spray-on foam insulation and plywood manufactured with imbedded rigid foam insulation have become popular and effective systems to increase R-value in tight spaces.
Every building and every roof system is different. Roof design for energy efficiency must take into consideration climate zone and insulation value. With sufficient insulation, roof color becomes insignificant in the energy efficiency equation.