Energy-saving is one of my pet topics. I’m told that by 2050 we will be expected to get our CO2 emissions down so low we may not be able to use central heating! So that made me really look for ways we can save energy now to avoid living in a cold house later.
Happily, technology is pointing the way forward with some remarkable innovations. Firstly, there is the new plastic ‘ battery’ called a ‘supercapacitor’, which is around five inches square, wafer-thin and takes five seconds to charge from a normal power supply and has energy –saving potential in a variety of uses , even in electric or hybrid cars ..
Until the plastic ‘battery’ comes onstream, we’ll have to make do with rechargeable batteries which save you money in the long run, and save having to dispose of old-style batteries. I hear that there is a solar-powered community under construction in Southern California , where solar roof tiles will power lights, appliances, TV and other electronic devices and save owners up to 60 percent on their electricity bills .
I know we don’t enjoy California’s climate, but we can still harness sun power in Britain. In recent years, Solihull Council made a start: Solihull Library has solar panels as do some council flats in the north of the borough and I’ve climbed on the roof of some of the 46 tower blocks on Chelmsley Wood where all the internal lighting is powered by new solar panels.
Householders generating power from solar panels or wind turbines may be able to make money by selling electricity back to the grid. Check www.energysavingtrust.org.uk for qualifying details.
The new coalition government has proposed a Green Deal where households can secure a £6000 loan for energy conservation paid back over a 25 year period against utility bills.