Housing Specification Blog

Tackling the rising cost of energy bills

July 16, 2013 Alexandra Blakeman Housing Issues

Today’s guest blogger is Ian Kitchin, Global Commercial Director of Product Certification from BSI (British Standards Institution). He spoke to HS about how householders can take advantage of government initiatives to reduce energy bills in their home.

The warm weather finally seems to be here to stay, but whilst some people are thinking about enjoying the weather in the garden, on holiday or taking a stroll in the park, others have solar panel installations on their minds.

Everyone faces the challenges of rising energy bills these days and with the price of energy continuing to soar, we are all taking a closer look at what choices we can make to save money. So it is for this reason that many householders are kitting out their homes to be as energy efficient as possible. As consumer needs for energy evolve, there are some schemes available to help people take advantage and make savings on energy consumption. Although cost-saving is a key motivator, showing a responsibility to the sustainability of our surroundings and ecology is another growing factor.

Fortunately this is something that DECC (Department of Energy & Climate Change) has identified and they have implemented several schemes to support consumers in making these changes, these include Microgeneration Certification Scheme (MCS), The Energy Company Obligations (ECO) and the Green Deal. MCS promotes the production electricity and heat from renewable sources and ECO and the Green Deal encourage the installation of energy efficient/conserving products. This makes a very strong statement about energy saving and goes a lot further than the small changes we make such as turning off light switches and half filling kettles with water.

The beauty of these more sophisticated Microgeneration energy creating products is that they can send surplus energy they generate straight back into the national grid. BSI is the only Certification Body who can certify to the BSI Kitemark™ for the Microgeneration scheme.

So what does this have to do with solar panels you may ask? Everything actually, because certified solar panels on your roof, whether they are thermal or voltaic, built-on or integrated, the Kitemark will show that they are compliant with MCS and also the raft of relevant standards for solar panels. (BS EN 12975-1:2006, BS EN 12976-1:2006, BS EN 61215:2005, BS EN 61646:1977).

Are there other energy savings to be made elsewhere in the home from generating heat or electricity? Definitely, with products such as the wind turbine, heat pump and biomass boiler heating systems can be installed and set to task.

But what if you don’t have a solar panel on the roof or other Microgeneration systems for when the cold days draw in, can you still save energy and costs? Yes, is the simplest answer because there are many energy efficient products that are tested and certified by BSI and provide a high level of confidence with regard to their safety, quality and performance. So you don’t need to look very far to see where energy saving products lie, look for BSI Kitemark certified products. The correct levels of thermal insulation in roof and wall cavities make a huge difference to energy conservation. The BSI Kitemark can be found on a wide range of insulation products such as man-made mineral fibre thermal insulation in pelleted or granular form.

Don’t forget the doors and windows of your home, new doors and windows not only provide increased security and comfort but contribute significantly to the improved energy efficiency of the property. Many have been certified by BSI with a Kitemark to confirm their safety and their weather tightness and security performance. This aligned to new energy efficient boilers and improved heating systems will reduce the volume of fuel used and consequently the cost to you for energy.

So really it doesn’t matter what the weather is doing to make some real savings, put the BSI Kitemark energy saving products into your home and then turn down the dial on your thermostat and rest assured knowing that your energy costs will be reduced

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