It’s the place we spend most of our time. It’s home and we love it. But how eco-friendly or efficient is your home?

The Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI) says a quarter of Ireland’s energy-related CO2 emissions are created by our inefficient housing stock. Irish houses emit almost 60% more CO2 than the average EU home.

That’s why this has become one of the most frequently asked questions when we talk about new builds, or large home renovations. Will it be energy efficient? And if not, why not? Should we invest in solar panels or what other options are out there? Whatever measures or considerations you take when it comes to a new home, these can be quite easily built in at the build stage (assuming you have the budget, some of the options are not cheap). But there are some things to consider for an older home too.

Here are a few things you can consider.

Eco Builds:

Eco-friendly construction has started to develop across the world in response to the knowledge that buildings can often have a negative impact upon our environment and our natural resources.

An Eco-Home or Eco House is an environmentally low-impact build, that is designed using materials and technology to reduce it’s carbon footprint and lowers it’s energy needs. One of the leading companies in this area are www.ecohouse.ie and they have plenty of information about what they do on their website. You can also check out www.selfbuild.ie if you’re feeling a little more positive about your DIY skills or have plenty of experienced family or friends around to help.

Renovating to become more energy efficient:

There are so many ways to retrofit your home to improve it’s energy efficiency in the longer term. Some of these options can be quite costly at the initial outlay, but will start to save you money quite quickly and in the long term.

Solar Panels – Check out www.aei.ie/

Wind Turbines – Check out www.bcdenergy.ie/

Heat Pumps – Check out heatpumpsireland.ie/

The SEAI is where you can get more information on the various grants available for retrofitting you r home. Check out SEAI for further information, suppliers and reviews: www.seai.ie

My house is not suitable for a retrofit or I am in rented accommodation:

There are many of us that are living in houses or apartments that have been built many (and for some, many, many) years ago. We may not be able to afford a retrofit (even with the grant) or we renting.

There are many things you can do on a daily basis to ensure your home is operating more efficiently.

Lower your thermostat, Keep doors to rooms closed, seal your windows if you can, install Low-flow Shower heads, turn off unnecessary water and unplug what you can in the evenings, use a draft excluder at main doors, use less hot water where you can and switch to energy saving light bulbs.

Apart from the money we can save by installing better systems, or by just making a few small changes, we will also help the environment in the longer term.

If you have an ‘eco-home’ story you’d like to share, or if you would like to submit some content for consideration, please email us at – editor@wasted.ie

 


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