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Energi Efficiency - 3. page

Demand Change By Changing Demand My list Of Seven

Every decision you make has a price tag attached to it, I told my teen recently. There are visible consequences and invisible consequences for each and every one of your decisions and actions, I continued.

Then suddenly, in the back of my mind, a seed of guilt and hypocrisy began to gestate: I was not discussing global warming and the survival of our planet I was speaking in general terms about life but I was poignantly (yet silently) aware that my words of wisdom apply entirely to a critical discussion of the impending death of our planet, the changes that must be made by each individual (including me!) that are unavoidable, and the relevance of life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness.

It was while reading a recent issue of Time magazine that my seed of guilt and hypocrisy took root and broke ground. This was Times first edition ever to have a green border on its cover, and only the second time that the magazine sported anything but a red border. This was Times Special Environmental Issue, and the outstanding article I read was entitled: Why Green is the New Red, White and Blue. I applauded the author (Bryan Walsh) for expounding the principles of a cap-and-trade system with teeth, coupled with tougher energy-efficiency mandates and significant new public and private investment in green technologies(page 57), but it hit me anew that saving our planet from global warming will mean much more than those macro changes. It is the grass roots arena, the micro, the individual, that fuels large scale, sweeping changes. The tail must indeed wag the dog.

Our collective choices have brought the world to this moment in time, and it is our collective choices that can have the greatest impact on global warming. Life, liberty, and the pursuit of happiness have become a license to do as we please within our means and lawsto consume voraciously, to pollute irresponsibly, and to gratify and satiate (ourselves) entirely.

It is our individual choices and our good intentions that must change. For it is resolution, action, and sacrifice that bring about real change, not intentions alone. My seed of guilt and hypocrisy were a reflection of my good intentions, lack of action, and unwillingness for sacrifice. Intentions are good, but only become excellent when made reality.

When we demand personal change and collectively demand better choices from everyone we can change the demands we now make, and will make, on our planet and its future.

So what changes can I demand of myself that can change the demand made upon our planet? Well, first I must change my intentions to self-pledges, take demonstrable action, and somehow minimize personal sacrifice.

I made a personal manifesto and thought of 7 changes I can demand of myself:

1) my next vehicle will be much more environmentally friendly

2) I will add solar panels to the roof of my home or the energy-efficient home I will build

3) I will purchase only energy efficient appliances

4) I will buy products that are less wasteful and recycle more of my waste

5) I will make better use of mass transit and drive my car less

6) I will support leaders who demand plausible changes in environmental policy

7) I will encourage others to use their purchase power to influence industry in support of environmental responsibility.

The list goes on, but the point is made; I can change without drastic sacrifice.
I have made a choice for prosperity, but I must consider the price tag. Global warming could end all prosperity and all choices for everyone. Although that price tag seems invisible when I wake on a sunny, beautiful Saturday morning and look out my window, I know that the eventual price tag is completely visible and real.

The earth in its own stormy and turbulent way has shown us the imminent, lurking cost, and it demands that we all change our individual choices. I must accept responsibility for my actions and inactions, and we, collectively must do the same to save our ailing planet.

Demand personal change.

Know Why The European Energy Efficiency Rules Are Worthy

When it pertains to initiatives on climate change and control of emissions, the European Union is one of the most proactive governmental blocks as they go on with setting standards for energy efficiency. Recently, the EU issued new rules that will help ensure energy efficiency by requiring all industrial, commercial, and household machines and appliances to have labels displayed. As part of the major roster change, this is to ensure that energy efficiency will be a top priority to help commercial agenda move forward.

The rules on energy efficiency issued by the European Parliament insist that all building that are new and constructed after 2020 should have to be powered by renewable energy sources. Buildings account for a significant proportion of greenhouse gases emitted and it has long been recognized that stringent action should be taken to apply energy efficiency rules for new building stock.

The EU has been one of the most proactive governmental blocks pertaining to the war against climate change and in controlling emissions, continuously setting high standards of energy efficiency. They have recently issued new energy efficiency rules that expand the need to display labels on industrial, commercial and household appliances and machines. This is part of a sweeping roster change, aimed at ensuring that energy efficiency is at the top of the commercial agenda going forward.

Since buildings have a lifespan of approximately 50 years, the environmental impact should not be underestimated. Renovation and retrofitting can only go so far and new emphasis is being placed on sustainable efforts during the process of construction, as well as during the design phase. The European Union’s energy efficiency rules dictate that all buildings made after 2020 will conform to this philosophy.

The European Parliament is convinced that education is paramount when it comes to achieving high energy efficiency standards and as such, labels must now be attached to energy consuming products for industrial or commercial use across the Union. Windows and framework must also be appropriately labeled, so that users can see how much energy they are responsible for and can choose wisely, in advance.

If consumers, individuals or corporations are in possession of all the right information, they can choose to include appliances that work well according to their sustainability objectives. Each appliance or asset must perform with ultimate energy efficiency in the “carbon era” of tomorrow, or the user will be responsible for additional fees in one way or another.

The concept of carbon taxation or “cap and trade” restrictions is not new in the European Union, as their Energy Efficiency Scheme has been in place since 2005. Such concepts are beginning to become clear in the United States, where the corresponding legislation is already being considered, which will most probably include a cap and trade and taxation options.

In order to provide detailed information pertaining to energy use and carbon emissions, procedures and systems need to be implemented at the boardroom level for each organization. Quite apart from greenhouse gas reduction, energy efficiency drives savings, which every organization should be focusing on these days.

Around the world, governments tend to agree that we must aim for as much as an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions as based on 1990 levels, by the time we get to 2050. If not, considerable and detrimental change could be caused to climate and weather patterns. This level of change will, nevertheless, call for consistent and urgent action and implementation of new energy efficiency rules, everywhere.

Lessons Learned From A Failed Energy Efficiency Project

INTRODUCTION
You would think that energy efficiency is relatively simple: perform an energy audit, install the retrofits and then reap the energy savings. Unfortunately, it doesn”t always work that way. We performed an energy assessment of several stores of a major retail chain in the San Francisco Bay Area and identified a handful of low-cost retro-commissioning measures that had very promising potential. We quantified the expected savings and costs and returned after the project was installed. We then measured the savings using various methods and found either minimal or negative savings. The problem we discovered was that on nearly every measure, the contractors had repaired the hardware, but through various means had ensured that energy savings would not occur. This paper provides an account of the failed project at one store and the steps we took to remedy it. Specifically, this paper stresses the importance of Measurement and Verification and Commissioning of the retrofits.

DESCRIPTION OF THE BUILDING
The store, located in San Francisco, belongs to a well-known national retailer, whose name we will not divulge. The store is an aggregate of 3 buildings which have been joined together to comprise almost 1,000,000 square feet, of which over half is selling floor. Stock rooms and offices comprise the remainder of the space. The different buildings range between 8 and 11 stories tall.

The three buildings comprising the store were built at different times from the 1920s to the 1980s. Originally the buildings had different air handling, chilled water and hot water systems. Over the years, through energy conservation and facility improvement measures, the chilled water systems have been merged into one system.

There were no operating boilers in the store. Steam is provided to the store by an external vendor. Hot water is supplied to multi-zone air handling units and perimeter reheats in some areas of the store via heat exchangers.
There is one common cooling plant which houses two 500 ton centrifugal chillers (2004) which run all year. Chilled water is supplied to the Air Handling Units (AHUs) via primary/secondary chilled water loops. During the hottest months, both chillers run at around 90% full load””this happens about 5 days/yr. During the cooler months, one chiller runs at about 40% full load. If you have been to San Francisco you probably know that even in summer a typical day only reaches about 60 degrees . A properly designed and operating building in San Francisco should not need mechanical cooling most of the year, instead relying upon outside air to meet its cooling needs. This was obviously not the case .

A utility bill analysis identified an out of control building. Figure 1 presents twelve months of average usage per day versus average outdoor temperature. Each point represents a billing period. The superimposed red line represents the statistically insignificant trend. The lack of clear trend indicates that the building is either haphazardly controlled or that energy use varies due to some other variable. We believe mostly the former. During warmer periods (which are not that warm) the store uses more energy, indicating a variable cooling load based upon weather conditions. (An ideal system that uses outside air whenever possible should show a horizontal trend in this 48 to 66 degree temperature range.)

There are over fifty AHUs: a mixture of single zone, multi-zone, and variable air volume units. Each of the three sections contains different types of AHUs.
Electricity Costs for the store were over $2.5M per year. With the economic collapse in the fall of 2008, smart retailers were looking to cut costs wherever possible. One line item that could be cut was utilities. Saving 10% or more could add at least $250,000 to the bottom line.

BACKGROUND OF THE UTILITY PROGRAM
There may be several reasons why California uses less than 50% per capita of the energy than the rest of the country, but one major reason is the aggressive effort of the California Public Utilities Commission to cut energy usage. Commercial ratepayers of the investor owned utilities pay a fee in their utility bills that funds energy efficiency programs. These funds are then channeled to the investor owned utilities to promote energy efficiency. These utilities have over one hundred targeted programs aimed at different vertical markets such as: wineries, retail, hospitals, supermarkets, etc. Often these programs will include free energy audits or retro-commissioning services in conjunction with generous incentives to implement energy efficiency measures. In some cases, the utilities will pay for up to 100% of the cost for implementing the measures. The utilities administer some programs directly and outsource others. The outsourced programs are designed and administered by third party energy consultants.

Quantum Energy Services & Technologies, Inc. (QuEST), an energy consulting firm headquartered in Berkeley, administers a retail program for PG&E which covers the San Francisco Bay Area. This program offers retailers free retro-commissioning studies along with incentives to implement energy conservation measures found. The utilities give incentives to the building owners based upon the amount of energy saved. But in order for energy savings to be recognized by PG&E, these savings need to be measured and verified and then the savings calculations must pass a review by third party reviewers. Nobody gets paid if the work does not pass the third party review. The third party review process is necessary to prevent false claims of savings, or gaming of the system. The reviewers can be tough and require all assumptions to be documented and based upon published standards or guidelines. The drawback of third party review is that some measures are dropped as the Measurement and Verification (M&V) costs would be prohibitively expensive.

QuEST retained our company as a subcontractor to help out with the retail program. Our company performed Retro-Commissioning (RCx) services on 8 stores belonging to this unnamed retailer, and this paper is about one of the stores. However, the same story occurred at most of the stores. It wasn”t one failure, but many.

A NOTE ON THE LEVEL OF RCx RIGOR
RCx is different from energy auditing in that RCx typically involves a more detailed study of the building”s control systems and HVAC systems than energy audits. In addition, RCx typically focuses on repairing, recalibrating and reprogramming, rather than procuring new equipment. Simple paybacks for RCx projects typically are under 2 years. Examples of RCx measures are: repairing inoperable equipment, programming controls, demand control ventilation, and calibrating temperature sensors. Examples of energy audit measures (which are not considered RCx measures) are: installing energy efficient chillers, boilers or package units, converting single zone HVAC systems to variable air volume systems, and installing EMS systems. Energy audit measures often are more expensive and may have longer paybacks. On the other hand, true RCx studies are much more detailed, and thus much more expensive to conduct than energy audits. RCx studies usually involve data logging, functional testing of controls, operator training and post implementation commissioning which repeats much of the data logging and functional testing that was previously done. RCx is criticized by some as too heavy on the analysis, as it can require hundreds of hours of work just to perform the study, whereas energy audits consume much less labor.

In order to make the most efficient use of ratepayer dollars, in QuEST”s RCx program the amount of engineering time was scaled down to minimize the time spent on work that does not directly lead to energy savings. Rather than write commissioning plans, and 100-page Master List of Findings reports, the interim deliverable is instead an Excel workbook that describes the measure, states all assumptions and measured values, and calculates the savings. Equipment is data-logged or trended before and after the implementation of the measures. Calculations are made in Excel so they can be verified by third party reviewers. Written reports come later, but are less extensive than typical RCx reports.

ONSITE INVESTIGATION
Two engineers spent 3 days onsite examining the store”s mechanical systems, uncovering problems, and identifying RCx Measures. Our work to this point was nearly identical to an energy audit.
Once the RCx Measures were identified, the list of RCx Measures was given to the customer who then decided which of them should be pursued. The list also was approved by the third party reviewer.

MEASURES FOUND
We found the store could save about $300,000 in both RCx and Retrofit Measures, which, with incentives offered a simple payback of less than six months. That is 12% of their energy spend. The following measure types were identified and approved by all parties:

Retrofit Measures
1.Install Variable Speed Drives (VSDs) on Multi-Zone Air Handling Units (AHUs).
2.Installation of VSDs on secondary chilled water loops.
RCx Measures
1.Repair economizer control on some air handlers. Many outside air dampers were rusted in place. A two by six was used to prop one open.
2.Repair a small number of faulty VSDs, some of which were in bypass running at 100% fan speed.
3.Reconnect static pressure lines. Some VSDs were running at full speed because the lines running to the static pressure sensors in the ducting had been previously destroyed by contractors.
4.Repair/Replace stuck chilled water valves. These valves were cooling whether the AHUs called for cooling or not. As a result, sales floor temperatures ranged from 62 degrees to 70 degrees.
5.Connect some AHUs to the Energy Management System. These AHUs were running wild and had no control at all.

DATA LOGGING
Once the measures were selected by the customer, QuEST engineers placed data loggers to measure pre-implementation temperatures and power. Temperatures measured included Outside Air Temperature (OAT), Return Air Temperature (RAT), Mixed Air Temperature (MAT) and Supply Air Temperature (SAT). Fan Motor kW were also logged for those units on VSDs. Spot measurements were taken of Fan Motor kW for AHUs that were not on VSDs.

SAVINGS CALCULATION
Energy savings were estimated using bin data simulations. Like-type AHUs were combined. Special care was taken in calculating energy savings to ensure that savings were not double-counted. Each energy conservation measure was modeled assuming the prior measures were already implemented. We integrated the interval data that we collected into the bin data simulations. To do this, we created regressions of our variables (RAT, MAT, SAT, kW) versus OAT. These regressions were used to project RATs, MATs, SATs and kW for other outdoor air temperatures that were not included in our sample.

INSTALLATION
Once we had estimated savings using our bin simulation models and provided measure costs, the customer decided which measures to implement. They then hired contractors to implement the measures. VSDs were installed and repaired, economizer dampers repaired, AHUs connected to the EMS system, etc.

M&V PROVES NO SAVINGS
Once the implementation was completed, QuEST engineers returned to the site and again data logged the same temperatures and power as before. The resulting data, RATs, MATs, SATs and kWs, was again regressed against OAT. Using the regression, RATs, MATs, SATs, and kW values were again extrapolated and placed into the bin simulations.

The resulting calculations demonstrated the unthinkable. Not only were the energy conservation measures we had recommended not saving energy, the affected systems at the store were using more energy than before! Actually, this could be seen from just looking at the interval data. It was obvious that the economizers and variable speed drives were not working as intended. The “repaired” economizers were letting in less outside air than before, and the variable speed drives were still commanding the fans to run at a constant load, but at a higher speed than before.

QuEST alerted the customer that their investments were not saving energy. Facility personnel then investigated the problems, found them, and corrected them.

Even though the contractors had made the economizers operational (as opposed to frozen), the damper actuators were not calibrated correctly. When dampers needed to be fully open, they were not. When dampers needed to be at minimum position, they were not. The variable speed drives were also installed incorrectly. Some wiring and controls issues were resolved and the units started operating as expected. Once these issues were resolved, M&V was performed again. We repeated the data-logging and placed this information into our bin simulations, and again projected the annual savings.
There are many ways energy efficiency projects can go wrong.

“Faulty recommendations
“Poor implementation
“Untrained staff who compromise all the energy conservation measures undertaken

Faulty recommendations may arise from a lack of understanding of how systems operate or should operate. Years of experience, and a good understanding of physics and control theory is necessary to make sound recommendations.

Poor implementation has many causes, but often can be traced to the mindset that having the right equipment will make the difference. But as the lessons learned here illustrate, installing the right hardware is only half the solution. It needs to be integrated into the system and operate according to a logical and beneficial sequence of operations.

The last item is especially troublesome because it is so common. Even if the right hardware is installed and controls optimized, small changes to the sequence of operations made to “fix” local problems may have large consequences on overall system performance over time. Changing supply air temperatures at the air handler to resolve hot or cold complaints may upset the balance of the system and cause problems elsewhere. Professors at Texas A&M University have pointed out that in the absence of continuous monitoring, a building”s performance will fall to the level of the least-trained operator within two years.

HOW TO AVOID FAILED ENERGY EFFICIENCY PROJECTS
There are a couple of ways to avoid projects that fail to produce savings. After equipment is installed, it needs to be commissioned by a third party, not the contractor who implemented the ECMs. Commissioning can be expensive, but it is worth it. However, just because the equipment has been deemed operational by the commissioning agent, that doesn”t mean it is saving what was expected. Commissioning will tell you if the equipment is working as it should. To determine if you are actually saving what was expected, M&V needs to be done on the building. Although M&V can appear as a waste of money to some, it caught this disaster before it was too late.

Unfortunately, building owners often value engineer commissioning and M&V out of their projects and leave themselves open to big disappointments in their energy efficiency projects. M&V is like insurance””sure, it costs money up front, but the reassurance of knowing the project is done correctly should be worth far more than the initial outlay. What other product would you purchase without verifying that you actually received what you paid for? Why should energy efficiency be any different?

CONCLUSION
Unfortunately, energy efficiency isn”t as simple as we would wish. Energy consultants may deliver quality energy audits and RCx studies, but merely implementing sound energy efficiency recommendations does not guarantee energy savings. The weak link is often in the commissioning of the measures to ensure they are doing what they are intended to do.
To avoid underperforming on your energy efficiency measures, we suggest the following three strategies:

1. Commission what you implement with third-party commissioning experts. Commissioning agents are not interested in selling hardware. They are interested in making systems operate at peak performance. They understand physics and control theory and can identify and repair problems quickly.

2. Track your energy savings using M&V. Even using something as simple as utility bill tracking software can provide some insight into building performance. An increase in monthly energy usage when a decrease was expected would have triggered an investigation into the cause. Verifying performance at the system level (as we did), while more difficult and expensive, would have isolated the problem much more quickly and accurately.

3. Provide proper training so that your facility staff doesn”t override or bypass your energy efficiency projects. Although we barely treated this topic in this paper, this is probably the single most effective step you can take. Your staff is the brains behind building operation, despite what EMS vendors may say. Having the smartest control system will do no good if it is operated by the dumbest operators.

How to Improve Energy Efficiency in Houston, TX Homes

The best time of year to make home improvements on home efficiency is before cold weather arrives, especially in Houston, Texas. Doing an inspection for checks to find drafty areas of the home is beneficial in making the home more comfortable and in saving money. Determine what do-it-yourself and professional repairs need to be done to prevent warm air from escaping and cold air from invading.

Radiant Heat Barriers
Call reliable local insulation contractors in Houston, TX to determine what type of protection the attic needs. They may make several recommendations to prevent energy inefficiency in what is typically the least efficient room in the home. Foil radiant heat barriers placed in the attic further prevent heat from leaving the home. This means the heating system doesn’t have to work as hard to keep the house at a pleasant temperature level, leading to further energy savings. These can be installed quickly and, once again, saved money may make it pay for itself in the long run. Foil sheeting costs a little bit more than the typical spray-on Houston radiant barrier, but it is worth the extra investment for those who can afford it. It blocks about 97 percent of the Houston sun’s heat from entering the home in the hot summer.

Chimney
Keep the flue closed in the chimney when it is not in use. Not only does this prevent cold, blustery air from blowing in, it also prevents animals seeking shelter from roosting in the attic for the wintertime. Invest in glass or metal doors in front of the fireplace. Keep them closed when the fireplace is dormant. Use fireproof mortar as needed to fill in chinks in the bricks.

Doors
Add storm windows to exterior screen doors. If they already have them, be sure to lower or raise the windows as winter rolls in. The less chance cold air has to sneak into the home, the less warm air must be generated to combat it. Add a draft blocker in front of doors with gaps beneath them. This is not only useful for the exterior, but interior doors as well. A chilly room that is seldom used harbors cold air which escapes into the warm house.

Crawlspaces
Like attics, Houston crawlspaces can harbor cold air and allow warm air from the rooms above it to escape below. Add insulation to prevent air from escaping to unused portions of the home, such as the crawlspace and attic.

How To Improve the Energy Efficiency of Baxi Boilers

With energy prices seeming to be constantly on the rise, homeowners are always on the lookout for ways of saving money through lower energy bills. Fortunately, one of the best ways of cutting energy is by taking steps to make a Baxi boiler more energy efficient. While Baxi already produces some of the most energy efficient boilers on the market, homeowners can always take further steps to help improve the environment and save them money on their next energy bill. Energy saving tips can range from the simple, like fitting pipes with insulation, to the extreme, like getting a brand new boiler installed. This article will look at just a few of the measures homeowners can take to make their boiler systems more energy efficient and thus cut their energy bills at the end of the month.

Use Room Thermostats

Installing a room thermostat is a great way of being able to control the temperature in individual rooms. Having better control over a homes temperature will go a long way in cutting down on wasted energy. Room thermostats can save consumers about 70 a year and they will go a long way towards protecting the environment. Once the room thermostats are installed, homeowners should turn down the temperature until it is warm enough to still be comfortable. Turning down the temperature just one degree can make a world of difference, and could save families 65 a year.

Hot Water Cylinder

Similarly, most UK families keep the temperature of their hot water cylinders up too high, which is not only wasting energy, but costing consumers more in higher energy bills. The ideal temperature for a hot water cylinder is 60 degrees Celsius, which is more than hot enough to still be comfortable for most homeowners. Water that is kept any hotter than this is not only wasteful, but it runs the risk of scalding human skin it comes into contact with. To make the hot water cylinder even more efficient, the main tank should have a tank jacket wrapped around it. Additionally, any pipes around the tank that are exposed should be insulated. Insulation will not only improve energy efficiency, it will also help the system last longer and perform better. The total cost for the tank jacket and insulation should cost no more than 30, while it could save families 60 a year in lower energy bills.

New Boiler

While all of the above recommendations are good and cheap to follow, by far the best thing people can do in order to cut their energy bills and improve their homes efficiency is to invest in a new energy efficient boiler. It is usually fairly easy to determine if a boiler is in need of replacing. Older boilers usually have a pilot light which burns continuously. The pilot light itself is not only wasteful, but these older boilers also have much lower efficiency ratings overall. Newer boilers have pilot lights which light automatically whenever the boiler is put into use, meaning that less gas is wasted when it is not actually being used by the homes occupants. In fact, the newer energy efficient models have an efficiency rating of up to 90 per cent. From a consumer standpoint, this increased efficiency could translate into an annual savings of over 300, not to mention a household that is much gentler on the environment. Of course, the main disadvantage of getting a new boiler installed is that they are very expensive, often running into the thousands of pounds. However, compared to the savings possible, a new boiler may be worth the investment. Furthermore, grants and trusts have been set up that can help the most disadvantaged improve their homes energy efficiency thus saving them money.

Many consumers are seeking to improve their households energy efficiency for a variety of reasons, ranging from wanting to save money on energy bills to trying to do some good for the planet. One of the best ways of cutting down on carbon emissions is by improving a houses current Baxi boiler system. By taking the measures listed above, whether that means buying a new energy efficient boiler or simply reducing a homes temperature by just one degree, homeowners will be doing their part to make the planet a little greener and their utility bills a little lighter.

Insulated Vinyl Siding For Increased Energy Efficiency

Vinyl siding is the choice of many homeowners and builders due to its durability, long life, and ease of installation. Unlike painted siding, it does not require repainting every four to five years, making it an essentially maintenance-free and economical choice over a long term. Simple cleaning or power washing on a yearly basis is all that is needed to keep this siding looking like new for many years.

Vinyl siding has improved greatly from its beginnings, resisting fading and warping like the earlier products were known to do. It is also now available in a vast range of colors and patterns, including wood, stone, and metal faux veneers that appear identical to these real materials from even short distances when expertly installed. For those who love the look of stone or cedar but not the expensive price tags, vinyl siding can offer the ideal solution.

One of the drawbacks of standard vinyl siding is that it doesn’t offer additional insulation. This issue has been addressed with the introduction of insulated siding that is now available from a number of manufacturers. It offers all of the advantages of other vinyl siding, plus many more.

Insulated vinyl siding can significantly reduce energy costs by increasing the home’s energy efficiency by four to five times over that of traditional vinyl. These savings can effectively pay for the siding in just a few years making insulated vinyl an even more economical siding choice.

The appearance and feel of insulated vinyl is more like wood siding due to increased firmness and stiffness. Traditional vinyl is flexible, following a structure’s bends and bumps that are ultimately highlighted by the material rather than masked. Insulated vinyl is inflexible, offering a smooth appearance like that of wood siding. It also offers greater protection from impact damage such as hail, storm debris, and accidental impacts from golf balls or baseballs that can so easily happen with busy, active families.

The thermal insulation that improves a home’s energy efficiency also has significant acoustical advantages, reducing the levels of noise from the outside. This results in an interior that is much more quiet and comfortable, especially for homes located near busy streets or intersections.

Of all the siding options available, it is little wonder that vinyl siding is the most popular for its beauty, durability, and maintenance-free advantages. Though it costs more up front than traditional vinyl, insulated vinyl offers even greater advantages with the significant money savings in energy costs. When considering siding choices, put insulated vinyl at the top of the list for economy and quality.

Engage energy efficiency in your home with new double glazing windows.

If you are looking for double glazing Windows Essex can offer you Dolphin Windows whom have over 20 years experience in the installation of windows, doors and conservatories. Dolphin Windows offer quality workmanship and professional installation by highly trained qualified experts.

Double glazing windows are available in many different styles to suit period properties or for personal taste and requirements. All windows come with the latest security features, alongside being highly energy efficient. Double glazing windows keep noise out meaning the noise of passing large vehicles will be a lot quieter than they would be if you were to have standard windows in your home. Dolphin Windows supply precise windows to fit perfectly in your home alongside tilt windows which open in a traditional manner and also tilt inwards allowing the circulation of air. Double glazing windows will keep the heat out during the summer months and will keep the heat in during the winter months ensuring your home is kept at a temperature you like.

If you would like to add value to your home Dolphin Windows recommending adding a conservatory which is aesthetically pleasing and has the energy efficiency many people are looking for today, Dolphin Windows’ outstanding conservatories are guaranteed to please and at competitive prices anyone can afford a high quality Dolphin Windows conservatory. Dolphin Windows have the latest in conservatory windows so that you are able to match the style of your conservatory to the style of your home. A conservatory helps bring the outside in with large windows giving your home a nice summary feel at all times of the year, a conservatory allows you to enjoy your beautiful garden on days where it’s just a bit too windy to enjoy being sat outside and in winter you can enjoy the view of the perfect snow in your garden.

The leading experts at Dolphin Windows offer a professional service in the installation of conservatories and double glazing windows. Dolphin Windows tailor their services to the needs of the individual customer to ensure you receive the best service that they can offer you.

Dolphin Windows are members of Network VEKA meaning they offer a ‘peace of mind’ service. Members of Network VEKA have an excellent quality service and lots of experience in the installation of double glazing windows and conservatories. Homeowners can trust Dolphin Windows knowing they are backed by a stable and powerful national organisation.

Myths and Misconceptions about Saving Energy at Home

In spite of rapidly increasing bills, many people are still spending more than they need to on their utilities. More often than not, this is due to careless habits and a number of common myths and misconceptions about saving energy. The following seeks to dispel some of these misunderstandings in order to help you cut down on your electricity consumption significantly.

Appliances which Are Turned Off Consume No Energy

The reality is, that if an electrical appliance is turned off, it will usually still be drawing some power unless it is disconnected from the power socket entirely. Some appliances even draw as much energy when they are supposedly switched off as they do when they are actually in use. A great deal of modern household appliances ranging from televisions to computers have a standby mode. While on standby, such appliances may consume less power, they are consuming something nonetheless. Save energy by ensuring that devices are switched off at the power strip or unplugged entirely. Likewise, unplug mobile phone and laptop chargers when they are not in use, since they will continue to draw power otherwise.

Fluorescent Lights Are Unsightly, Inefficient Strip Lights Often Found in Offices

While this is partly true, modern fluorescent lightbulbs are actually extremely energy-efficient, consuming around a fifth of the amount of power as the traditional incandescent lightbulb. They might be more expensive and take a short time to reach full brightness once switched on, but changing all of the lighting fixtures in your home or office will make a very significant saving on your electricity bills. These bulbs fit into the same sockets as any other standard bulb. Also, fluorescent lightbulbs last, on average, about ten times longer.

Maintaining a Constant Temperature with Your Thermostat is More Efficient

The cost of heating a home normally accounts for the majority of a household’s utility bills. However, many people assume that keeping the thermostat on a constant temperature throughout the day and night is more energy-efficient than turning it down during the night and up during the day. In reality, the opposite is usually the case, and it is typically much more energy-efficient to have your heating on at a slightly higher temperature for several hours per day at two or more separate intervals. Additionally, lowering your thermostat temperature by one or two degrees makes little different to the ambient temperature while cutting energy consumption by as much as ten percent.

Setting Your Boiler to a Higher Temperature Will Make It Heat Water Faster

This is simply not true, since it will take the same amount of time for the boiler to reach a set temperature regardless. If you set your hot water boiler to ninety degrees, it will still take the same amount of time to reach seventy degrees, which is normally an optimal temperature for most requirements. Setting it higher simply wastes money by heating water more than necessary. The same applies to air conditioning units and central heating systems.

Nokias Green Initiative Phone Recycle Campaign

Nokia is going green by taking back old phone for recycling and has started we:recycle campaign and urging people to become Planet Saver. Its requesting people to drop old phones at Nokia priority dealer or Nokia care centre and promising to recycle the metal and plastic to make useful things, resulting into no extra mining and no cutting trees. Its also promising to plant a tree for every phone you drop.

In todays reality, recycling old phones is not such a common practice. Isnt this a very innovative and big corporate social responsibility (CSR), the size at Nokia operates is large and collecting phones from thousands of priority centre and Nokia care need huge logistics and then dismantle all these phones. Nokia has over 1 billion phones sold worldwide.

Nokia is a market leader in mobile devices and with leadership comes great responsibility. Nokia aims to be a leading company in environmental performance. Our vision is a world where everyone being connected can contribute to sustainable development. We want to shape our industry and drive best practices says Nokia on its website.

How many times you have upgraded your mobile handset in last 3 years? What you did with old handset? Many of such handsets remain somewhere in the corner of the room or thrown in dustbin. When your phone is lost, charger is not lost and hence you pile up big stocks of these chargers because they are not standardized for all phones. You simply keep these chargers at home for indefinite time.

Think, you too can not contribute to save earth by responding to Nokias advt.

There’s still a lot in an old phone:
Old phones might seem worthless but they still contain many usable and valuable materials. Nokias idea is to make it easier for consumers to act green by offering the possibility to return old, unused phones and accessories. Authorized Nokia Service Points, flagship stores, municipal collections, industry association’s collections, or retailers’ campaigns are all possible channels for returning used products.

Refurbishment
We are currently investigating, from an environmental and business angle, the refurbishment process of used mobile phones. As a major manufacturer, it is in both our best interests and that of our consumers to bring some clarity and quality assurance to an area of the market that has been left largely undefined.

Minimising our environmental footprint
Nokias environmental work is based on life cycle thinking. This means that Nokia aim to minimize the environmental impact of our products throughout our operations, beginning with the extraction of raw materials and ending with recycling, treatment of waste, and recovery of used materials. Nokia achieve this by better product design, close control of the production processes, and greater material reuse and recycling.

Nokias environmental efforts focus on four issues:
Substance management. Nokia work closely with our suppliers and require full declaration of the substances we use in our devices. Our work is based on the precautionary principle and we aim at continuously reducing the amount of substances of concern. In addition, Nokia explore the opportunities for using new, more environmentally friendly materials, such as bio plastics or recycled metals and plastics.
Energy efficiency. Nokia make sure our devices use as little energy as possible. Nokia also work to reduce the energy consumption of our operations, and agree on energy efficiency targets with our key suppliers.
Take back and recycling. Nokia want to increase consumer awareness of recycling, offer superior recycling in all markets and promote the recycling of used devices through specific initiatives and campaigns. The backbone of Nokias take-back program are the collection points of used devices in 5000 Nokia care centres in 85 countries.
Promoting sustainability through services and software. Nokia has developed eco services for our phones to help people to make sustainable choices and consider the environment in their everyday lives. A variety of eco services are freely downloadable to Nokia devices via Ovi store.

So, will you search for your old phone and drop it to Nokia?

Ensure Energy efficiency with a proper Insulator

A home is built for a lifetime. Any damage to the home out of bad weather is definitely heart breaking. So it is well-said that “prevention is better than cure”. This is not only applicable to all human beings; undeniably it fits well when coming to the use of insulators for our home.

Researches say that half the heat is lost from the home through the wall and loft, also a good contribution is made by the doors, windows and pipes. So investment on insulation is worthy. To name a few varieties of insulations applied to the homes are cavity insulation, wool insulation, floor insulation, loft insulation, glazing, tanks and pipes and many more.

A building having a cavity wall i.e, the outer wall and the inner wall being separated by an empty space or a cavity needs to go for the cavity wall insulation, since the outer wall tends to lose a larger amount of heat. With good cavity wall insulation, which uses a suitable insulant material, a suitable room temperature can be achieved. It is a simple and a cost effective solution that saves the fuel of the occupant.

Coming to the insulating board widely used by many movie halls, pubs, conference halls and the recording studios, it guarantees noise reduction coefficient, sound absorptive properties, flame resilient and low weight when the board is an acoustic wall. Besides some other categories of insulation boards also provide benefits like UV resistance, ozone resistance and corrosion resistance. The insulating boards are also used for the floor having rooms below with adequate ventilation.

Wool insulation is also a popular choice these days. Some of the great features of the wool are a natural choice, not inert, healthy, eco-friendly, hygroscopic, non-allergic, fire resistant, low in conductivity, absorbs gases and fumes, and low in embodied energy. Therefore with wool insulation, air conditioning is of course natural.

Mineral wool insulation isnt similar to the wool insulation. Mineral wool is the rock wool which is manufactured from the steel slag. This kind of insulation is permanent and effective against moisture and some agents of rots which are often unavoidable. One of the similar properties it shares with the wool insulation is its fire resistant property. But simultaneously extra precaution needs to be taken while working with it as it raises certain health concern especially to the eyes, skin and lung. So taking professional help at the time of installations guarantees the protection of our home and health as well.

Another way of saving a lot of valuable and expensive energy is by insulating the loft. So using the loft insulation, carbon dioxide emissions can be reduced, the major cause for climate change. Loft insulation prevents internal condensation assuring a warmer winter and a cooler summer, reduces noise from outside and thus improves the energy efficiency rating of the home.

Global warming the rising concern these days can be prevented to some extent with the application of above mentioned insulators to our homes. So let us take the initiative in making our planet a better place for living.