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  • Distributed energy will become 'more important'

    Distributed energy will become more significant for Britons, one expert has predicted.

    It will help homeowners gain better control of their energy costs, while lowering emissions from properties such as stores and factories, according to Tony Cocker, chief executive of E.ON.

    Speaking at the Sustainabilitylive event in Birmingham, Mr Cocker added that E.ON has been working alongside Barratt Homes to build a new community energy centre, enabling houses to be heated and provided with electricity.

    "Rather than each individual house having a boiler, each house brings in the warm water from the network and we have a much more efficient system," he stated.

    Mr Cocker noted that its latest work is merely "a start" for the technology.

    His remarks come after Andrew Leech from the National Home Improvement Council noted that more incentive is required in order for homes to boost their energy efficiency.

    Mr Leech explained that the government can only be successful in encouraging homes to be more sustainable if the necessary money is at hand.

  • Energy efficiency is a 'priority' among residents

    Energy efficiency has become a priority among British homeowners, one UK housebuilder has insisted.

    Homes are now constructed in order to adhere to higher energy standards, with the industry aiming to develop houses to a carbon-neutral position by 2016, according to a Persimmon Homes representative.

    Mike Farley, group chief executive of Persimmon Homes, noted that open-plan living and better internet connections are set to be priorities for houses in 40 years time.

    "People are less formal these days, so people don’t necessarily need to see a separate lounge, dining room and kitchen area," he remarked.

    The expert went on to say that open-plan layouts enable people to live in more modern and flexible ways.

    A separate study by Persimmon Homes recently found that 33 per cent of people believe that they will live in eco communities in 40 years.

    As well as this, 56 per cent estimate that people will enjoy super high tech lifestyles after the same period of time.

  • Traditional radiator covers can decrease energy efficiency

    The use of traditional radiator covers can reduce the efficiency of heating in homes, one expert has stressed.

    The appliances are not only inefficient, but also do not look visually appealing, with furniture designer Jason Muteham describing them as a "nasty box with a grille".

    "Modern radiators are about the convection cycle, meaning you get the cold air in the bottom and hot air out of the top. As soon as you've put a thick shelf on you've killed your heating system dead," Mr Muteham explained.

    He advised that convection-style radiators are the most efficient for homeowners, adding that people must ensure that they put careful thought into choosing their radiator.

    One alternative to radiator systems could be underfloor heating, with Gr33n director Derrick Wilkinson advising that the technology works effectively with a heat pump.

    Mr Wilkinson continued by saying that heat pumps can offer substantial energy savings for residents.

  • Middlesbrough homes to benefit from fuel poverty scheme

    Up to 1,100 homes in Middlesbrough will soon benefit from energy-efficient measures as part of a new programme by Middlesbrough Council.

    The authority will work alongside fuel poverty specialist GoWarm in order to install a selection of energy efficiency measures, ranging from cavity wall insulation to boiler replacements and new heating systems, reports Ecofriendnews.com.

    Councillor Charlie Rooney, Middlesbrough Council’s executive member for regeneration and economic development, said: "Household budgets are under unprecedented pressure, and the weather’s more unpredictable than ever, so this is the kind of initiative that will make a real difference."

    The authority's latest initiative follows advice from Anna-Marie DeSouza, editor of Build it + Home Improvement magazine, who underlined that there are a selection of heating solutions presently available for people to choose from in the market.

    Ms DeSouza advised that the quality of insulation in homes can also affect the number of technologies that are available to residents.

  • Govt must 'seduce' people into sustainable thinking

    The government needs to do more to seduce people into adopting sustainable ways of thinking, one expert has claimed.

    Speaking at the Sustainabilitylive event in Birmingham, Tony Juniper, independent sustainability and environment advisor, stated that renewable energy technologies and energy efficiency measures on their own will not allow environmental targets to be met.

    Alternatively, Mr Juniper claimed that a new approach should be adopted that caters to individuals.

    "We need to start looking to lecture people less, give them less information and perhaps seduce them through things that are going to actually meet their values," he explained.

    Mr Juniper went on to stress that the value-driven requirements of households need to be addressed.

    Recently, a study by E.ON found that UK renters are losing out on savings of over than £990 million with regard to their energy bills.

    These losses occur because people do not fit their homes with basic energy saving measures including insulation.

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