The Green Room by The GreenAge
What Is The Cheapest Way To Heat My House?

What Is The Cheapest Way To Heat My House?

October 2, 2019

The Green Room: What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them what the cheapest way is to heat your homes? With the cold approaching fast, we’ve put together a guide to the cheapest heating systems around. We’re judging these heatings systems on install and running costs, as well as looking at their environmental impact.

Related Episodes
Episode 25: Boilers 101
Episode 4: What's the Cheapest Electric Heating?

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WET CENTRAL HEATING SYSTEMS
By far the most common form of heating in the UK is a wet system, using a boiler and radiators. The boilers come in many different types, but almost all of them work on the same principle of burning gas/oil/wood to heat water, which is then fed through pipework into radiators and/or underfloor heating systems around your home.

ELECTRIC HEATING SYSTEMS
Just like wet systems, electric heating uses conduction for transfer heat from one source to another. However, electric heating systems rarely use water to fill radiators, and tend to instead use electricity to directly power heating element and warm the room that way. All electric heating systems are slightly different, and there’s a lot of debate about which is the cheapest way to heat a home, so we’ve gone through them all here. That includes more alternative forms of electric heating, such as heat pumps, and infrared heating.

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Read more:
A Beginners Guide to Boilers
What Kind of Boiler Do I Have?
Should I replace my conventional boiler with a combi?
What is the Cheapest Electric Heater to Run?
Gas Distribution Network

Boilers 101: How To Heat Your Home

Boilers 101: How To Heat Your Home

October 2, 2019

What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them all about boilers and home heating? We’re looking forward to winter this week, and that means we’re talking all things central heating. In this episode we demystify boilers, taking you through each different type of boiler, along with their pros and cons. Scroll down for a simple summary of boilers and hot water systems.

 

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COMBI BOILER
Usually the boiler of choice for flats or small houses with only one bathroom, since it doesn't require a hot water tank. If you have a small property, it's an incredibly convenient boiler system, but won't work for larger families.

SYSTEM BOILER
System boilers use a hot water tank in an airing cupboard to store hot water. As a sealed, pressurised system, these boilers can provide hot water to several outlets at the same time, operating at the same water pressure as your mains flow..

CONVENTIONAL BOILER
Also known as regular boilers, traditional boilers, or open vent boilers. These use a dual tank gravity system to create the water pressure. You can use multiple outlets at once, but they take up a lot of space and are limited by the positioning of the tanks.

OTHER HOT WATER SYSTEMS

Back Boiler: A type of conventional boiler but with a gas space heater fire at the back. They're no longer available in the UK due to inefficiency.

Biomass Boiler: Instead of using gas to produce the heat, biomass boilers combust sustainable wood pellets. They also qualify for the RHI government funding scheme.

Oil/LPG Boiler: Work the same as normal boilers, but fuel used is stored on site rather than coming off ‘the grid’. Fairly reliable, but relatively expensive and very bad for the environment.

Electric Boiler: An electric boiler can be used in off-grid areas, or where a gas supply is either not wanted or not possible. However, they are very expensive to run.

Combined Heat and Power (CHP) Boiler: Acts as micro power plants by providing your hot water, but also using the wasted energy to generate electricity to use around the home.

Instantaneous Hot Water Points: They work the same way as electric showers, heating the water at the point of use. Only really used in outhouses or garden sheds, etc.

 

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Read more: 

An Introduction to Gas Boilers

What Kind of Boiler Do I Have?

Should I replace my conventional boiler with a combi?

Gas Distribution Network

Top Tips For Lower Winter Bills

Top Tips For Lower Winter Bills

September 16, 2019

The Green Room: What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them how to prepare for winter? The weather is starting to cool a little, and we want you to be prepared. In this episode we take you through the best things you can do to save money on your heating and electric bills this winter. We also discuss some of the funding schemes you may be able to benefit from.

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THE GREENAGE’S TOP TIPS TO SAVE MONEY THIS WINTER
- Get your boiler serviced before everyone else. A healthy boiler will serve you well all winter.
- Invest in a cylinder jacket for your hot water tank so that your hot water stays hotter for longer. It’s worth insulating cold water jackets too to prevent them from freezing.
- Bleed your radiators to ensure you get them working at maximum efficiency
- Get to know your thermostat controls, and make sure all your radiators have thermostatic valves
- Lag (insulate) your pipes to keep you hot water hot, save money, and prevent them freezing
- Replace your lightbulbs with LEDs. Don’t wait until they blow, you’ll save more money by switching now
- Draught proof your most frequently used rooms - consider doors, floors, and windows
- Check the links below for more information on government subsidies and assistance. Some are automatic but some require you to apply.
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Read more:
Warm Home Discount 2019/2020 
Winter Fuel Payment 
Ecoease
Low Energy Bulbs 
Thermostatic Radiator Valves

How To Save The Planet

How To Save The Planet

September 2, 2019

The Green Room: What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them about a plan to save the world? We've been doing our reading this week, looking at Project Drawdown, a research project based on halting climate change and saving our environment. On this episode, we're taking you through the top 10 most impactful global changes we could make.

PROJECT DRAWDOWN

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1: REFRIGERANT MANAGEMENT
89.74GT CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
Uknown Net Cost (Billion USD)
$-902.77 Savings (Billion USD)

2: WIND TURBINES (ONSHORE)
84.6GT CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
$1.23 Net Cost (Trillion USD)
$7.43 Savings (Trillion USD)

3. REDUCEDFOOD WASTE
70.53GT CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
Unknown Net Cost (USD)
Unknown Savings (USD)

4. PLANT-RICH DIET
66.11GT CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
Unknown Net Cost (USD)
Unknown Savings (USD)

5. TROPICAL FORESTS
61.23GT CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
Unknown Net Cost (USD)
Unknown Savings (USD)

6. & 7. EDUCATING GIRLS & FAMILY PLANNING
102.96 CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
Unknown Net Cost (USD)
Unknown Savings (USD)

8. SOLAR FARMS
36.9GT CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
$-80.6 Net Cost (Billion USD)
$5.02 Savings (Trillion USD)

9. SILVOPASTURE
31.19GT CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
$41.59 Net Cost (Billion USD)
$699.37 Savings (Billion USD)

10. ROOFTOP SOLAR
24.6GT CO2-EQ reduction by 2050
$453.14 Net Cost (Billion USD)
$3.46 Savings (Trillion USD)
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The Problem With Renewable Energy

The Problem With Renewable Energy

August 5, 2019

What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them what the are with renewable energy? This week, we're playing devil's advocate. We love renewable energy, but this weeks episode is all about understanding how it works, and what limitations we have to work around if the UK is truly going to become carbon neutral.

If you want to know more about the current state of renewable energy in the UK, go to Episode 21, where we take you through where our renewable energy actually comes from.

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INTERMITTENCY
Without a doubt, the biggest problem with mainstream renewable energy is intermittency. Wind power is only generated when it’s windy, solar power is only generated when it’s sunny. This creates several fundamental issues.

SPACE & EFFICIENCY
Here’s the thing about most renewable forms of energy: they’re horribly inefficient. That’s why we need huge solar farms and hundreds of wind turbines and massive biocrop fields. One of the issues, if you think about scaling up our renewables, is where we’re going to put them.

COST
One of the great things about renewable energy is that the sun, the wind, and water currents are all free. That means that, theoretically, these kinds of technologies are one-time costs. In reality, the initial outlay can be huge and the continued costs can be far more than you might expect.

ENVIRONMENT & CLIMATE CHANGE
By far the biggest argument for switching to renewable energy is that we need to save the planet and stop relying on technologies that poison our atmosphere. But what is the carbon footprint of building a wind turbine, or transporting biofuel, or disposing of a defunct solar panel? And what is the impact on the local environment?

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Read more:
Where Does UK Renewable Energy Come From?
Introduction to Solar PV
Introduction to Wind Turbines
Introduction to Hydroelectric Power
Levelised Cost of Energy (LCOE)
The Truth About Nuclear Power

Swansea Tidal Lagoon Redesign
Germany’s energy consumption and power mix in charts
Falling costs of solar panels

A Guide to UK Renewable Energy

A Guide to UK Renewable Energy

July 26, 2019

What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them how the UK makes its renewable energy? In our latest episode, we dig deep into the numbers and recent trends, and take you through all of the UK’s biggest renewable energy sources. We check out their benefits and drawbacks, and how the government plans to increase our renewable energy generation in the coming years.

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More Home Energy Saving Q&A

More Home Energy Saving Q&A

July 5, 2019

What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them.... well, whatever you want? We've once again put your questions to James and Nick, from Government grants to ground source heat pumps. For more energy saving Q&A, see Episode 10!

Check the description to jump to the questions you'd like to hear answered.

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A Beginners Guide to Electric Cars

A Beginners Guide to Electric Cars

June 27, 2019

What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them all about electric cars? This week we're going through the many different kinds of electric vehicles, with all of their pros and cons. From Tesla to Toyota, from hybrids to hydrogen cells, we take you through everything you need to know about electric vehicles; how they work, and which type is right for you.

Watch it on YouTube!

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The Truth About Nuclear Power

The Truth About Nuclear Power

June 20, 2019

What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them to get to the bottom of nuclear power. We take you through all the big questions of nuclear power. Doesn’t nuclear waste harm the environment? Isn’t nuclear power expensive? Aren’t nuclear plants dangerous? GreenAge, are you crazy?! We’re discussing it all.

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Summer Energy Saving

Summer Energy Saving

May 31, 2019

What happens when you put two energy experts in a room and ask them their top tips for energy saving this summer? The weather is hotting up and so are we as we ask what are the best ways to stay cool and save energy in these (sometimes) sunny months, which energy-saving renovations are best done now, and what projects you can do yourself. We also discuss some more.... experimental ideas 😂

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