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Published: 09/01/2015

How Using Low Carbon Technologies Can Save You Money

Low carbon technologies are one of the ways that you can save money whilst reducing your dependency on conventional fuel sources. Low carbon technologies are not a completely renewable resource as they may still have carbon emissions associated with them, however this is much smaller than conventional fossil fuel burning technologies. An example of this is a heat pump. Whilst the heat from the ground is free and renewable, it still requires an electric pump to operate the system.

Reducing fossil fuel dependency

Conventional electricity generation, using fossil fuels such as coal, oil and gas, produces large quantities of carbon dioxide. For every 1kWh of electricity you use, over half a kilogramme of CO2 is released. Before you invest in a form of low carbon technology, it’s a good idea to find out how much energy you currently use – and then see what you can do to reduce it. Using renewable sources to generate your own electricity reduces the amount of conventionally generated electricity you need to buy from your supplier – helping to save you money.

Any heat energy that can be extracted from a renewable or low carbon source will substitute the heat produced by your heating or hot water system, which is using fossil fuels. However, it is important to reduce your heating requirements where possible by implementing some simple efficiency measures, which can ensure that you are saving as much as possible.

Low carbon options

One example of carbon efficient technology is solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, which work by using solar PV modules to convert sunlight into electricity. Typical domestic systems are about 2.2kW in size, and will save around one tonne of CO2 per year.

Another option is domestic wind turbines, which can be integrated into the local electricity grid or operate separately. A well-sited turbine, dependent on local wind speeds, could save over five tonnes of CO2 per year.

Solar water heating can be integrated into your existing hot water system, and have virtually no CO2 emissions during operation. If used to replace conventional gas heating they can reduce household emissions by 260 kg a year.

Low carbon technology is not only better for the environment – it can be better for your bank balance too. It is worth doing some research into which form of the technology is best suited to your home before you install, taking into account factors such as the location of your home and the amount of direct sunlight or wind. Take a look at the Energy Saving Trust’s guide to renewable and low carbon technology for more information.