There are many options available to homeowners to make use of renewable energy resources in the home. Renewable energy has many benefits, such as reducing energy costs, our reliance on fossil fuels and our impact on the environment.
For homeowners, the most practical renewable energy options relate to space heating and domestic hot water which account for over 70% of household energy consumption.
Information on this page is courtesy of the Sustainable Energy Authority of Ireland (SEAI), of which Derek Curtin Ltd is a registered contractor.
Anyone building a new home should make use of passive solar design principles, which can be incorporated at no extra cost while bringing substantial benefits in energy savings and comfort.
Passive solar design uses the energy freely available from the sun to provide heating and lighting in buildings. Just by changing the orientation of a house to south to capture the maximum sunlight, energy bills can be reduced by 10%. With additional measures such as extra insulation, high energy performing windows / doors, this saving can be trebled. Passive solar designed houses can look like conventional houses and need cost no extra to build than similar houses that have not been designed in this way.
Using wood fuel instead of peat, coal and gas to heat our homes is a sustainable choice, and makes a positive contribution to the environment.
Wood is ‘CO2 neutral’, the amount of CO2 wood releases during burning is equal to that which is absorbed during growth. In contrast, burning fossil fuels releases the global warming gas carbon dioxide, as well as other damaging pollutants.
Wood fuel also takes just 5-20 years to grow, whereas peat and coal were formed over hundreds of thousands of years.
Modern, highly efficient stoves and boilers make wood fuel a practical and sustainable option for today’s lifestyle.
Heat Pumps collect heat from the environment (e.g. air/ground/water) and are ideal for the Irish climate. They are an excellent energy source for underfloor heating in particular.
Heat pumps use a small amount of electricity to upgrade the heat gathered from the environment to a usable level indoors. Installation costs are similar to those of a conventional heating system but running costs are much lower.
Active solar heating systems can provide economical hot water and space heating. In Ireland , solar panels can provide around 60% of the annual hot water requirements for homes and buildings. In fact, one square metre receives the equivalent of more than 100 litres of oil in free solar energy per year!
A solar water heater produces hot water by transforming solar energy into heat through its solar panels. The heat is stored in a large hot water cylinder so that it is available when you need it. It converts both direct and indirect sunlight into heat so it works even when the sky is overcast.