Cut Carbon and Heating Costs - Build a Patio in your Loft

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Fears have been expressed that the move away from fossil fuels will have to be paid for by consumers at a time when the recession is already putting pressure on household budgets. However theEnergyCrowd, a collaborative developer of alternative energy technologies, is working on a passive solar energy system aimed at reducing household related carbon emissions without incurring high costs.

This week sees the announcement of the government's plans to lower the UK's carbon footprint by increasing the proportion of energy generated using renewable resources. Fears have been expressed that the move away from fossil fuels will be paid for by consumers at a time when the recession is already putting pressure on household budgets. However theEnergyCrowd, a collaborative developer of alternative energy technologies, is working on a passive solar energy system aimed at reducing household related carbon emissions without incurring high costs.

The key component of theEnergyCrowd's system is a heat store located in the loft of a house. This energy store is constructed using Basalt rock, which retains heat captured from the sun in the late afternoon for use in the early evening.

The target price of theEnergyCrowd's design, which can also include a conservatory, is less than the cost of traditional conservatory on its own. Without the conservatory the marginal cost of including the technology during initial house construction would be small - an important consideration when using renewable energy to heat social housing. theEnergyCrowd also believes a customised version of the system would be simple to retrofit to an existing two-storey house.

With 39% of the UK's energy currently being used for heating, theEnergyCrowd regards its current project as an important piece of research into alternative ways of providing a proportion of the space heating required for buildings. The researcher believes that it should be possible to install the passive solar energy system for less than the cost of installing conventional solar panels.

Peter Kruger, founder of theEnergyCrowd.com said: "Cutting energy costs should be one of the main aims of any renewable energy project. In the long term it is pointless providing a domestic energy solution totally based on renewable energy generation if the price of the energy supplied is higher than the householder can afford. A better approach is to design systems that reduce the amount of energy domestic housing consumes to the point where the proportion of 'top up' energy required from central providers, or community based renewable energy installations, can be met by medium to large wind, solar or tidal energy technologies."

theEnergyCrowd's project is built on research carried out and published by CarbonFree as a series of reports on large scale solar energy collection, green building, micro-generation, community based energy programmes and renewable energy storage technologies. These reports are available from http://www.carbonfree.co.uk

For further details on theEnergyCrowd's passive solar energy project visit: http://www.theenergycrowd.com

About theEnergyCrowd

theEnergyCrowd brings together engineers and developers who have hands-on experience of developing renewable energy technologies and innovative energy systems and provides research into energy savings technology.
http://www.theenergycrowd.com

For further details contact:

Toby Jackson
Steinkrug Publications Ltd
+44 (0)1223 208926

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