Telephone: 0131 610 1688

Nick Grogan

Based in Edinburgh, I have 18 years experience in the UK energy industry. Experienced working with both new and existing businesses. How can I help you today? or call me on 0131 610 1688

How Homeowners Can Use Renewable Energy In Their Residences

Numerous homeowners are now keen on transforming their households into sustainable ones through the use of renewable energy. This is because apart from being able to reduce their energy bills instantly, leveraging renewable energy is also a great leap towards helping the earth heal by reducing their carbon footprint. In line with this, below are some of the most viable ways of how you can use renewable energy in your home.



Mounting Solar Panels on the Roof

One of the most common ways to use renewable energy in your residence is by mounting solar panels on your roof. In case you want to know more about how solar panel installation is typically done, you can delve into residential energy education where you will be able to gain more insights on what you need to prepare, as well as the budget that you need to allocate for the upfront costs. Otherwise, you can get in touch with a professional solar power electrician who will be able to answer any of your questions and help you with the installation later on.

As soon as you have solar panels mounted on your roof, you will notice a significant reduction in your monthly electricity bills. The inverter of your solar power system will transform the sun’s energy harnessed by the panels into electricity that you can readily use at home. Thus, you will most likely be independent of the grid.

Going for a Solar Water Heater

Apart from converting the sun’s energy into electricity that you can use in your household, you can also leverage solar panels to generate the heat necessary to raise the temperature level of the water that you use. The use of solar energy to heat your water is very much cheaper compared to the use of gas or electricity. If you have a pool, then the use of a solar water heater to heat your pool is also a viable alternative.

Utilizing a Solar Oven

You can also use the sun’s energy to cook your food through a solar oven. This is one of the best options in case you are not yet ready to fully delve into the use of solar panels either for the electricity that you use or to heat your water system. The best part is that you can even make your own solar oven with the basic materials that you can find in your home. For this, all you need is a cardboard box, some form of insulation, as well as aluminum foil.

Installing Skylights

Another way to get started in transforming your home into a more sustainable one is by leveraging the use of natural light. One of the ways that you can do this is by installing tubular skylights on your roof. While these don’t generate electricity, they can focus the sun’s brightness into a specific area in your home, lighting it up much as a bulb would.

A tubular skylight is often composed of a clear roof-mounted dome, a metal tube, as well as a ceiling diffuser. The metal tube is the one that connects the dome on your roof to the diffuser on your ceiling. The inside surface of the metal tube is also highly reflective, which means that it can reflect over 90% of the sunlight it harnesses to be delivered to the diffuser. The result is a radiant glow of natural light that is focused on the area where the diffuser is installed.

Use of Wind Turbines

You may notice wind turbines installed in large, open lands or a wind farm. While you may think that wind power is uncommon when it comes to residential applications, you may be surprised to know that several homeowners are now leveraging wind power to generate a fair amount of electricity for their homes. According to renewable energy experts, the use of wind power is even more stable compared to the use of solar energy.

There are just a few downsides though and one of these is that most wind turbines are not aesthetically pleasing and some even produce a loud noise. Nevertheless, sustainable energy advocates are already performing further research and improvements to address these issues.



Final Word

There are several ways on how you will be able to use renewable energy in your home. All it takes is a bit of meticulous planning, and a certain lifestyle change to support a more sustainable household. Rest assured that in the long run, the use of renewable energy sources can be one of the best things that you have done for your home in terms of increasing its value, as well as in ensuring that you are one with the earth in promoting its healing.

Protect yourselves in Cold Weather this Winter

People working in extreme weather environments may experience damage due to cold stress. This is a blanket term for when the body can’t maintain a healthy temperature due to prolonged exposure to temperatures below about 8°C.

To avoid danger, people rely on behavioural thermoregulation. When facing the bitter cold, they seek shelter and clothing that will protect them. People instinctively know they must avoid prolonged exposure to extreme temperatures.

In a cold environment, the body expends great energy to keep warm. Steady core temperature is essential to survival. Therefore, blood flow (and heat) is shifted from the extremities. Fingers, toes, and even limbs are sacrificed to keep the chest and abdomen warm.

Prolonged exposure to severe cold can lead to hypothermia, frostbite, trench foot, and chilblains. 

Alcohol, fatigue and open wounds increase the risk of hypothermia, which occurs when the body loses more heat than it produces. Early symptoms include shivering, slurred speech, lack of coordination, and cold, pale skin. 

Frostbite occurs when the skin and underlying tissue freeze. Symptoms include cold and tingling or stinging followed by numbness. Trench foot and chilblains are more likely under cold and wet conditions.

While each of these conditions are dangerous, they are only the tip of the iceberg. According to a report by Public Health England, exposure to extremely cold weather increased incidents of heart attack, stroke, flu, respiratory disease, falls, and injury. 

In the last 5 years, there have been 168,000 cold-related deaths in the U.K. Wet conditions and high or cold wind exacerbate the risk.

People who work in cold weather include those in the construction, agricultural, security, and commercial fishing industries. At particular risk are those who work without breaks, older people and those with heart-related health issues.

There are several things employers can advise workers to do to protect themselves. First, they can wear at least three layers of clothing. The outer layer acts as a windbreak. It should be durable but ventilated. 

The middle layer insulates and should also absorb sweat. The inner layer should be well-ventilated to allow moisture to escape so skin remains dry. In general, loose clothing is better than tight garments.

Areas that may require extra protection include the top of the head as well as ears, face, hands and feet. In extreme cases, eye protection may be required. Footwear should be waterproof.

For people working outdoors in the cold, shifts should be scheduled for the warmest part of the day. The time workers spend outdoors should be limited.

Additionally, warm liquids provide relief on a cold day, so providing them to workers can be helpful. To avoid too much caffeine, green and herbal teas, decaffeinated coffee or hot broth might be good options.

Finally, it’s important to pay attention to weather reports, wind chill factors and other data and schedule work accordingly. Be aware of the symptoms listed above and pay special attention to those who are older or have heart issues so that you can help keep them safe.

Bio This is a smaller section of a larger guide about working in cold environments, Many will work in cold temperatures this winter and there are many things that employers and employees can do to protect themselves.

Wondering how to work out your gas consumption?

Gas bills can be suprisingly complicated. Is your meter metric or imperial? What does calorific value mean and why does it keep changing?

We’ve made a new page which explains all about the different types of meters, what all those numbers mean and how they’re calculated.

It also includes a simple calculator which will tell you how much gas you’ve actually used and what it should cost you.

Give it a try and let us know what you think.

Gas Calculator

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