Tag: Centre for Sustainable Energy

Is triple glazing worth the extra expense in the UK?


With the current focus on energy efficiency, and many homeowners replacing their old inefficient windows – Iis triple glazing worth the extra expense?

The PassivHaus Institute tested surface temperatures on various forms of glazing when the internal air temperature is designed to be at 21°C:

Next to a single-glazed window, the internal surface temperature is around 1°C.
Next to a double-glazed window (circa 2000), the temperature is around 11°C.
Next to a modern, energy-efficient double-glazed window, the surface temperature is 16°C.
Next to a triple-glazed window the temperature is 18°C.

So whilst triple glazed windows performed better than modern double glazing, it was a relatively small difference, and something worth considering when comparing quotations.

Read article in Homebuilding and Renovation “Does triple glazing make sense?

Conclusion It is certainly worth replacing single-glazed windows. Whether you want to go for double or triple glazing will really depend on how much you can afford and how well insulated the rest of the house is. There is little point in adding triple-glazing if there is a lot of heat loss from uninsulated solid brick walls.

In June 2014 the UK government launched the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund that includes a grant for replacing single glazed windows with double or triple-glazed windows and solid wall insulation. For more details about the Green Deal Home Improvement Fund click here

Also read the Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) leaflet on Energy efficient glazing


English National Heat Map Launched

The National Heat Map was commissioned by the Department of Energy and Climate Change and created by The Centre for Sustainable Energy. The purpose of the Map is to support planning and deployment of local low-carbon energy projects in England. It aims to achieve this by providing publicly accessible high-resolution web-based maps of heat demand by area.

The heat map in split-screen mode, showing total heat demand in Hereford (the 'hotspot' is a public swimming pool)

The heat map is primarily intended to help identify locations where heat distribution is most likely to be beneficial and economic. It is important to note that it should be used as a tool for prioritising locations for more detailed investigation – and not as a tool for designing heat networks directly or for querying energy bills.

Residential heat demand over South Manchester. Note the absence of data for the industrial estate in the centre of the image

With the exception of public buildings, the heat map was produced entirely without access to the meter readings or energy bills of individual premises. As a result it contains no personal information whatsoever. This means that once a location has been established as having potential, it will always be necessary to obtain directly metered data on the relevant sites. With the exception of public buildings, the maps are based on data that has been modelled down to an individual address level, but none of the information used in any way constitutes personal data.

Commercial and government heat demand in Portsmouth

This approach to modelling allows aggregation of results upwards without losing accuracy, whilst preserving the ability to drill down to finer scales at chosen locations. At high map zoom levels the outputs are at sufficiently fine scales to allow users to identify individual buildings and groups of buildings which could benefit from heat distribution installations, taking account of the relative accuracy of modelled data.

Individual features like CHP plants and thermal power stations can be identified. Here, the CHP station at Boots' HQ in Beeston, Nottingham is flagged

The National Heat Map is a free and publicly accessible resource providing high-resolution maps of heat demand across England.

It aims to help local authorities, community groups and other users identify locations where heat distribution projects are most likely to make a difference – by cutting carbon emissions and reducing heating costs.

The heat map is based on modelled estimates of annual heat demand at every address in England, and is extremely detailed as a result.

This detail allows users to investigate energy use patterns at the level of individual buildings and streets: exactly what’s needed to support the development of local, low-carbon decentralised energy projects across the country.

Once a potential opportunity has been identified using the heat map, the next step is to approach local stakeholders to develop interest in the project, and to obtain directly metered heat demand data for use in a feasibility study.

About the National Heat Map – DECC

Launch of National Heat Map – CSE

Other articles:-

DECC Blog – Putting Low Carbon Heating on the map

Smart meter data could transform energy management

Last year the UK Government began consulting on plans for the roll-out of smart meters across the country, with the aim of reducing domestic and commercial energy use. By 2020, these meters will replace all existing electricity and gas meters, providing a means of automatically recording and communicating energy consumption data to the energy supplier.

About 50% of the country’s electricity demand is currently based on meter readings which are taken, on average, every six months – but these readings provide no information about how the electricity is being used, i.e. the times of days. However, the data that the smart meters can provide has the potential to transform the way in which the electricity system as a whole operates, serves its customers and invests in new infrastructure. The electricity industry is reliant on balancing electricity generation and demand – and thus being able to predict peak-demand periods to avoid distribution network failures.

Information from smart meters could prove invaluable to the industry in allowing it to better understand peak demand, how that peak changes over time, what the daily demand is in half-hourly intervals and over a year, and what the changes in the levels and timing of demand are.

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is leading  project to extract, analyse and present this datain a way that can be done promptly and cost-effectively It is part-funded by the Technology Strategy Board through their ‘Harnessing Large and Diverse Sources of Data’ competition for research and development funding and in partnership between CSE, Western Power Distribution, Scottish and Southern Energy, and the University of Bristol and will run until the end of 2012.

Read full article

Warm homes the key to healthy people

The Centre for Sustainable Energy (CSE) is leading a number of support agencies and groups across Bristol, England as part of a Department of Health-backed project aimed at breaking the link between cold homes and bad health.

The new Bristol City Council-backed Keep Warm in Bristol project aims to improve the health of thousands of deprived Bristol households by tackling the thermal comfort of their homes.

Read full CSE news article

More about the project

‘Warmer Bath’ – a guide to making historic buildings more energy efficient.

‘Warmer Bath’ – a guide to making Bath’s historic buildings more energy efficient is the final product of the Low Carbon Bath project, a collaboration between the Bath Preservation Trust and Bristol’s Centre for Sustainable Energy. The project was funded by the government’s Department for Communities and Local Government. The project began with a series of workshops and a public meeting which explored local attitudes to preserving the historic environment of Bath and tackling climate change. Workshops were run for people with a strong interest in heritage, people involved in local green groups, building professionals and school pupils.

Download the Guide

The guidance, co-authored by Will Anderson, working as a researcher for CSE, and Joanna Robinson, Conservation Officer at Bath Preservation Trust, provides details of a range of energy conservation measures appropriate for Bath’s traditional buildings. It is the project’s ambition that this guidance makes a major contribution to the development of Bath and North East Somerset Council’s Local Development Framework.

The project grew from a recognition that there are increasing pressures on the owners and managers of historic property to contribute towards climate change mitigation. The City of Bath World Heritage Site is an historic landscape that is extremely vulnerable to change that could detract from its architectural character, authenticity, natural landscape and historic interest, and careful management is necessary.

Caroline Kay, Chief Executive of Bath Preservation Trust, said: “This guidance represents a really important shared agenda for the conservation and environmental lobbies. It is a step forward for Bath house holders, and by extension for those in other historic cities.”

CSE Chief Executive, Simon Roberts, added: “What goes for Bath, goes for other places, too. Finding a way to sympathetically adapt our older housing, and move beyond the energy efficiency standards of their Georgian and Victorian builders, lies at the heart of a viable domestic carbon reduction strategy.”