There are many stories in the media informing us that we are destroying the planet. Last month, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) released its report which states that the number of weather-related disasters has tripled in 30 years.
We know this is happening as our building surveyors have helped several domestic and commercial clients reinstate their properties following the terrible storms and severe flooding earlier this year.
Overheating is also becoming a major issue and we often have to rely on cooling technology to make our lives more comfortable and productive. All of this costs money and can often be minimalised at the outset if our buildings are designed and constructed to a higher specification.
The IPCC report is not ‘new’ news. However, the warnings are proving correct and the extreme weather issues will become more frequent and should be a wake-up call. The actions that everyone must take are quite simple. Whether you are considering your home or your business, everyone can play their part:
• Reduce energy consumption – try to lower your demand for heating and cooling by a couple of degrees. Small changes in behaviour will cost you less and make a significant impact over time.
• Incorporate renewable energy sources – buy green energy and seek opportunities for renewable generation, i.e switch to an air source heat pump and/or integrate solar pv panels. These can also be fitted retrospectively if you are considering refurbishment.
• Can you extend or reconfigure? – rather than automatically thinking to demolish and rebuild, consider if you can extend and reconfigure your property to provide the space you require. Sometimes this may turn out cheaper and save on costs.
• Incorporate higher levels of insulation and improve on detailing – our Architecture and Building Surveying department regularly assists clients who are extremely keen to better insulate their property. We all know that utility energy prices are increasing so it’s a ‘no brainer’ to retain the heat which is becoming more expensive each year.
• Change your lighting to LEDs – lowering your demand for electricity. There are not many instances when an LED lamp can’t be installed.
• Improve lighting and heating controls – this will reduce your energy demand and save on your utility bills. Consider a smart meter and an energy monitor and you will be surprised to learn where all your energy disappears.
• Consider PV panels – as the take up for electric vehicles increases, why not consider pv panels and help reduce the demand on the National Grid.
Everyone must play their part, but the simple message is clear – by adapting and better insulating your properties, you will also save money on future energy bills.
Having a good EPC is also hugely important as the Government intends to place stronger emphasis on energy efficiency. Currently, it is illegal for landlords to let a property with an EPC rating less than an E. However, soon this may be revised upwards to below a C rating so now is the time to factor in energy saving improvements before it’s too late.
We have the expertise to advise you to do what’s right for your property, now and in the future, whether you choose to occupy, rent or sell.
For further information or to discuss making your home more energy efficient, please contact Robert Franklin, Head of Architecture & Building Surveying, on 01234 362917 or email email@example.com