Dulwich Net Zero aims to encourage Dulwich residents to reduce their carbon footprint in the home. Insulation and new heating technology can reduce energy use hugely but they also have to be approached carefully because they are expensive and can disappoint if badly designed or fitted. Instead of rushing into making changes in the home we want to share the best advise and consider the options carefully.
The Energy Savings Trust has a wealth of information on increasing the efficiency of your home energy use and we advise you to make use of that source of information. However at Dulwich Net Zero we want to share best practice in home energy saving and provide personal support and guidance.
Insulating Your Home
This is the cheapest and safest way to start reducing your energy use in the home. On a cold and windy day put the heating on and look for draughts around doors and windows and chimneys and floorboards. Stopping these gaps is not rocket science and gets you started on the energy efficiency trail.
Windows and glazing
Secondary glazing, shutters and thick curtains can help to make your old single glazed windows keep the heat in. New double glazing is expensive and sometimes contrary to local planning. Whatever you choose, please note that single glazed windows lose more heat than your walls by a huge factor.
Roof and other Insulation
Floors, walls and roofs lose heat. The easiest insulation project is probably your roof. If you have roof access, increasing your roof insulation is the first place to start.
Insulating floors and walls is not so simple. We hope to provide a personal service at Dulwich Net Zero to help you through the mine field of house insulation.
Heating Your Home and Water
The most important first step here is to know the options you have and be prepared. If your gas boiler breaks down you won't have time to research some new technology and you will be pressured into replacing your old gas boiler with a new gas boiler. So now is the time to do your homework and see what low carbon options you have.
Air Source Heat Pumps
This option for heating has become a new type to really consider. The pumps act like a fridge in reverse, pumping heat from outside the house to inside. They use electricity but pump more energy than they use to do the pumping and is therefore considered greater than 100% efficient. They are quite different from gas boilers and need to be researched well before you dive in. Hence do your research now.
Solar panels cost a fraction of what they did a few years ago. However the government won't pay you a huge per KW price for feeding back into the grid on the days you don't use the power. However the drop in price of the panels quite nicely balances the effect of ending the feed in tariff. Solar panels are still good value. Sadly they can't produce enough power to heat your house on a cold day but they are an efficient way of providing you with electricity especially if you use a heat pump or battery.
Bio fuels / wood burning
For some homes, log or pellet fuel is a great alternative to fossil fuels. The choice of boiler or stove and the choice and management of the fuel are both key to effective wood-fired heating. This is because it’s important to burn wood as efficiently as possible to minimise other types of pollution.
Modern ‘batch’ log boilers and pellet-fired stoves or boilers offer you convenient and efficient ways to heat with wood fuel. Their high efficiency means that they have much cleaner levels of emissions than traditional stoves or ranges.
When burned, biomass fuels release the amount of carbon dioxide that they absorbed when growing.
Share your home energy experiences (positive or negative).
If you have installed energy saving technology in your house in Dulwich please get in contact and share your experience. Dulwich Net Zero is about sharing local experience to inspire other residents to make good decisions.