March 05, 2013

In 2006 the Government initiated its plan to make all new build homes 'zero carbon' by 2016. The ambition is to get rid of or control all regulated emissions from the home with a view to putting in sustainability measures that will also help with non-regulated emissions. This was a monumental commitment that has made a huge impact on the property market and modern day architecture. So what do this mean if you are building a new property with domestic heating oil or doing restorations on your current home?

Around the world the built environment uses 20-40% energy, 20% water, 40-50% natural resources and causes 1/3 of all CO2 emissions. The main emphasis of the 'zero carbon' target is that homes and properties be energy efficient and environmentally responsible thus making a positive contribution to sustainability. This can be achieved many ways particularly by being sufficiently insulated and adequately air tight.

Here are some top tips for whether you are renovating or starting from scratch to get your home and domestic heating oil running with 'zero carbon'.

  1. Windows - For both heat insulation and helping reduce the cost of domestic heating oil bills double glazed uPVC windows are highly effective in keeping energy in your home. However with older properties they might not fit with the 'look' or be appropriate so other options include secondary glazing or having a thorough restoration which will work just as well.
  2. Insulation - The design of your house should not only be aesthetically pleasing but air-tight and well ventilated for to feel the benefit from your domestic heating oil. It is estimated that 66% of heat loss in the home is through a badly insulated roof. To avoid this make sure you have 150mm-200mm of insulation in the attic from either conventional materials or natural, Eco-friendly ones like Thermafleece made from Sheeps wool, Flax 100 from flax and hemp, plus several other sustainable options. It also imperative to creating a sustainable, 'green' home that you are fully fitted with cavity wall insulation. Having the space between the outer and inner walls filled makes a big difference in preventing heat loss from your domestic heating oil and is a small investment that will pay for itself over a short period of time.
  3. Boiler - A domestic heating oil boiler should have an annual servicing to maintain performance and efficiency. To help keep energy bills low by reducing the thermostat by just 1*c can cut the cost of your domestic heating oil by up to 10%. Another way of conserving energy, money and lowering carbon emissions is by adding thermostatic valves to radiators to stop unused rooms being heated and wasting domestic heating oil.

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