Getting an energy audit!

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Green Aura
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Getting an energy audit!

Post: #199341 Green Aura
Thu Jun 10, 2010 9:46 am

We've got a chap coming from the Energy Saving Trust to do an audit/make recommendations/see if we qualify for any grants for renewables :cheers:

So I'm posting this thread a little in advance to try to collate some sensible questions etc before the chap comes - in August.

I've prattled on long and often about our energy issues, in this house, but I'll try to precis it so it's in one place and for newer members who won't have read all my other drivel :lol:

We live in an ex-MOD barracks building -single storey, built from concrete blocks and flat solid concrete roof - SW facing so it gets the sun all day from about 10am. Apart from the shop area everywhere has been insulated and dry-lined to, we think, a fairly high standard. We fitted double glazing which has made an enormous difference to the internal temperatures.

We're all electric for cooking etc - no mains gas up here and the position of our house makes it nigh on impossible to have propane , oil or LPG. I wouldn't want any of the above anyway but I'm guessing that's why none of our predecessors fitted one of them.

Central heating is run by a huge old coal boiler. Since the double glazing was installed it's been far too hot. In the depths of winter it eats over £30 of coal a week - and that's after we reduced the size of the firebox (to try to reduce the temperature) and supplemented with a trailer-load of logs (£35). We've bought a woodburner stove/cooker to replace it (an old but perfectly formed Esse Doric :iconbiggrin: ). It's output is about 2/3rds of the old one so be warm enough and we can cook on it of course when it's lit. And we have an old Tortoise, wood/coalburner, which we can fit somewhere else - haven't worked out where yet :lol: - probably further up the house away from the kitchen. All the rooms come off a long, central corridor which has no windows or radiators - currently heated by a temperature-controlled heater.

I should add that we are, I'm afraid :oops: , quite high energy users - my aged mother has an electric fire which she has on most of the time and a TV. We run laptops - pretty much all day OH for his work, me for mine (and because I spend too much time on here :lol: ). TV, electric shower, immersion heater (in summer) and cooker, in the workshop I have a bain marie, small cooker, microwave and heat sealing equipment for my business. DD has games machines and probably other stuff I've not thought of. Plus we have panel heaters (600W) in each of the bedrooms (sometimes it gets cold but not enough to light the boiler).

So, eventually :lol: , the point of this thread is to try to get my head round what we're trying to achieve.
1) passive solar water heating - I wondered if we could fit this as a sort of canopy over the SW facing windows. It would keep the shield the sun from the house too :dontknow:
2) solar PV to supplement our electricity (although that might be problematic - can't attach to the grid at the moment but I believe Scottish Hydro are sorting that soon :roll: ). We could fix these to the long, south facing wall, in between the windows. It would add an extra layer of insulation to the "weather side" of the house as well but I'm not sure how resilient these things are to high winds (along with all the debris that gets thrown around).
3) wind turbine - I think at the moment this is a non-starter :( . Planning regs will probably mean we can't have one despite the fact that we could probably go "off-grid" - we certainly get enough wind. The only time it's not windy is when it's sunny so the PV would kick in then.

Even if we couldn't do these for the whole building I'd love to separate the supply to the workshop/shop and have that meeting it's own energy needs.

Sorry, my precis was rather long-winded :lol: but does anyone have any suggestions/questions/comments that would help us prepare for this chap's visit. We'll only get one chance to do this so we need to try and get it right and I'm sure there are loads of things we haven't even thought of :?
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin

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Odsox
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Re: Getting an energy audit!

Post: #199356 Odsox
Thu Jun 10, 2010 10:52 am

Just a quick reply Maggie without too much thought going into it.
Solar panels for hot water are I think quite large, I did look into the possibility of ground mounting a panel here so that it would work by gravity (no pump) but it would have covered the windows.
Plus I did the calculations and as out immersion heater is on off-peak it costs us €5 a week for our hot water and even with a grant and producing 100% of our hot water needs, would take 20 years to pay for itself.

I would definitely try for wind turbine, but it's a shame that you have to go through planning permission (we don't) to get one.
I have had mine working for about 4 months now and on days like today (6 m/s wind) it's generating all my electricity, except the electric kettle. Maybe the energy auditor has the ability to fast track or at least recommend you at a planning meeting .. worth a mention maybe.
Tony

Disclaimer: I almost certainly haven't a clue what I'm talking about.

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Green Aura
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Re: Getting an energy audit!

Post: #199385 Green Aura
Thu Jun 10, 2010 1:47 pm

I'm definitely going to ask about it - they've been saying planning regs are going to be relaxed but I don't know if that's happened yet.

I'd not really thought about the size of the passive solar panels - can you get different sized ones? We've been advised not fit them on the roof because of the high winds but I thought just under the "eaves" on stilts. Sort of like an awning or pergola, if that makes sense.
Maggie

Never doubt that you can change history. You already have. Marge Piercy

Life shrinks or expands in proportion to one's courage. Anais Nin


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