Reducing Your Carbon Footprint

There are many ways to decrease your carbon footprint, some much easier than others: walking/cycling instead of driving, taking the train instead of flying, recycle more items, turn vegan, and reducing the impact of your home.

The UK government has committed to achieving reduction of carbon dioxide emissions by 26-32% by 2020 and 80% by 2050 (Ed Miliband updated the 2050 figure from 60% in October 2008). It is also looking to develop greater energy independence for Britain – which has become an energy importer with declining North Sea oil and gas reserves and closing of the nation’s coal mines.

The government is currently undertaking large initiatives to educate the public about energy efficiency. Everybody should have the correct insulation in their house by now, the government incentives give it a payback of around two years, essentially as good as a bank account with 40% interest. There have also been laws passed towards low energy light bulbs and the labelling of electrical appliances according to efficiency.

A parallel initiative to achieving these twin targets is switching the method of national grid electricity generation away from coal and gas power stations to other sources such a wind, tidal, clean coal, and nuclear through the building of large capital projects. Indeed another government target is 10% of the UK’s energy to come from renewable sources by 2010, a target they are likely to miss. Further reading on large scale projects and the current mix of the UK’s energy generation can be found here.

Coupled with large capital projects is the idea of lots of small generators linked in to the national grid. These are called microgeneration. This means generation of a renewable energy within the confines of your own property and can be achieved through solar panels, ground source heat pumps, wind turbines or biomass.

To reduce the cost of installation of renewable* technologies the Low Carbon Buildings Programme has been created by the Department for Business, Enterprise and Regulatory Reform. The programme will provide insulation grants for microgeneration technologies to householders, community organisations, schools, and the public and not for profit sector and private businesses. These vary in magnitude with the type of microgeneration system used; you can check which grants you are eligible for here.

Towngate Technologies is a specialist in the application of solar solutions to a variety of buildings and properties, across the commercial, public sector and domestic markets. We understand the technologies available and believe that solar energy provides the greatest scope of applications. This does not exclude advocating other technologies where they might be more suitable.

If you wish to discuss integrated energy solutions, please contact us, we have worked with many other energy companies in the past and are happy to recommend an installer.