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What are the most Cost Effective Sustainability Measures?

Below is a list of sustainability measures that can be incorporated in a project, starting with the most cost effective. Some such as insulation provide cost saving by conserving energy, whilst others like solar panels will provide added sustainability via generation. As a rule of thumb you should exhaust energy conservation measures before moving on to energy generation.

The Essentials . . . . . . .

1 - Reduce Room Temperatures - With the mere twist of a dial you can reduce carbon emissions significantly. And it doesn't cost anything at all.

2 - Programmable Thermostats - Again controlling heat levels can help save emissions, programmable thermostats pay for them selves very quickly.

3 - Thermostatic Radiator Valves (TRVs) - Again controlling heat levels can help waste energy.

cost effective sustainability 4 - Efficient Boiler - With gas prices as high as they are it is essential to fit the most efficient boiler available ("A" rated >90%), for small scale domestic this will often mean a condensing boiler, for large projects a cascading system may be advisable.

The Extras . . . . . .

5 - Heat Pumps - Depending whether you choose air , water or ground source heat pumps these provide cost effective carbon savings. Just bear in mind that emissions from air source heat pumps  will be higher per KW of heat generated than say the same amount of heat generated by a ground source heat pump.

6 - Solar Thermal Panels (Hot Water) - With the scramble for photovoltaic panels caused by the feed in tariffs anyone would think that they were the bees knees with regards to emissions savings but in reality solar thermal panels that heat water for use are far more efficient, perhaps up to ten times more efficient at capturing the suns energy.

7 - PV Solar Panels - Photovoltaic Panels generate electricity and so are more flexible than solar thermal panels. You can feed surplus in to the grid, and grants such as the feed in tariff will help you out with the financial side of things.

8 - Double Glazing  - All of those sales men in the 80s and 90s were unwittingly selling one of the worst energy saving measures available, pound for pound double glazing is one of the least cost effective sustainability measures you can include in a project. You will need to though because of building regulations  . . .

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