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Space and Energy-Saving Options for Your New Build

Nov 19 2016

If you are building a home, then there are lots of decisions to be made when it comes to how you are going to run your home. As we know that many of our clients are in the process of moving and building homes, we want to bring you some helpful information for your build. Here we are going to outline some energy-saving options for your new-build, including alternatives to buying electricity from the grid, and some alternatives to conventional heating systems.

Many of these energy-saving options employ discrete designs, and therefore will create extra space in your home. Why waste precious space in your home with large radiators and oil tanks? Not only is choosing energy-saving options great for the environment, it will save you on oil and gas costs in the long run – which are not going to get any cheaper! – and you will save space in your home. In this blog, we will outline some of the available energy-saving options for new homes, as well as the benefits they can have for your pocket and for creating space in your home.

 

Wind turbines are growing in popularity across the country as a means of providing an energy source for homes. The benefits of windmills are many, not least to mention the production of clean, emission-free energy – you are saving the environment while also saving energy on your electricity bills! The cost of installation varies greatly depending on your site, but this can be assessed with a visit from an engineer for a one off payment, and mainly is influenced by access and ground conditions at the site. The average cost of putting up a windmill is in the region of €30,000. Of course this is a considerable up-front cost, but most homeowners achieve payback after 10 to 12 years. When you consider that the average length of time that a family live in a home, which is anything from 16 to 20 years, this will certainly prove to be cost effective down the line. You can even sell extra energy generated back to the grid, and if your windmill is well located for wind then this is inevitable.

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Solar panels are another very popular generator of clean energy for heating water in homes around the country, and may be more suitable for homes in urban areas. Installing solar panels can decrease your household’s carbon footprint by an average of 35,180 pounds of carbon dioxide per year. You’d have to plant 88 trees every year to offset that amount of carbon dioxide!

How it works: Solar panels are photovoltaic (PV) cells. In a nutshell, these special batteries harness sunlight, transform it into energy, then send that energy to an inverter, which converts it into electricity to power the home.

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), offers the Better Energy Homes Scheme grant of €1200 for the installation of solar panels in your home.

A solar system with 6sq m of panels, to suit a house with four to five occupants, will cost from €5,000 to €7,000, depending on the specification and cost of installation. As a rule of thumb, one square metre of solar panel on your roof gives the equivalent of more than 100 litres of oil in free solar energy per year, so a typical system as outlined could save a substantial amount in heating costs. The higher your hot water usage, the more beneficial a solar hot water system will be, as more “free” energy will be used.

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Geothermal energy heating systems take heat naturally present in the ground and use it either for direct thermal heating or pass through a heat exchange to generate electricity. Both deep and shallow drilling are being used, but it is shallow drilling that is usually what is meant when GT Energy is being considered for household energy requirements. These systems may be more expensive to install first off, but this extra investment is paid off after about 8 to 9 years. The extra costs are related to the installation of ground source heat pumps, but support is available from the SEAI.
This system results in an attractive underfloor heating system in your home, which is not only effective and warm, but also eliminates the need for radiators and storage heaters, freeing up substantial space and getting rid of unsightly heaters in your home.
The instability of the oil market is not something that should be relied upon when building a new home, it is a finite commodity, and who knows in 10-15 years time how much it may cost…
Eliminating radiators and oil tanks leaves you with lots of extra space to work with in your new home! For more space-saving options for your new build, we have recently published a great blog post on innovative kitchen appliances which you can see here.

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