Guest post by Ann Carr*
Both green building and energy saving initiatives are huge drivers in the fight against global warming, and every year new innovations burst onto the commercial market promising to save natural resources and ensure home owners spend less money on utilities. Here we list some of the latest technology that could help UK homes achieve Zero Net Energy status.
Sense home energy monitor
For some time now we’ve been able to measure the total energy output from our homes – but how about a device which can tell you exactly which individual appliance is using what – and in real time? In other words – a tracker which can pinpoint the appliances you need to get rid off right away, replace, or at least learn to lessen their use. That’ll be the Sense Home Energy monitor then. This clever piece of kit can monitor current and voltage at one million times per second.
Remote Dodecahedron from Nanoleaf
This Bluetooth-enabled remote control for up to 12 different activities in your home (one for each side) is activated with the flick of a wrist – just turn to the side you want to trigger eg lighting, heating or TV etc. The beauty is that instead of having 12 different apps to operate the technology, you can do it all with this one easy-to-use product which, because it’s different colours light up when it gives you feedback, the Remote Dodecahedrom looks cool too. It weighs just 0.13 kilograms and was due to be released February 2018.
Zero Net Energy buildings
Buildings which produce more energy than they use were big in 2017. This year they’re going to be huge. And it’s a trend we predict will grow with each passing year – In the UK all new built homes will be Zero Net Energy by 2030, and according to the UK Green Building Council, all existing buildings will need to be Zero Net Energy by 2050.
A fine example of a Zero Net Energy rated home is the D10 Aktivhaus by Werner Sobek (pictured above). Not only does this 914 square foot home have enough clean energy for itself and two electric cars, but can also power next door. The remote-powered smart energy system also learns its owner’s habits and adapts accordingly. The photovoltaic roof produces 8,300 kilowatt-hours of solar energy every year.
Retrax solar solutions
And on the subject of solar (roofing is the biggest segment in exterior green building products, after all), you can now take your solar panels with you when you move. It’s all thanks to Aquarius Brands and their portable Retrax Solar system. This comes as a package of prewired panels which can simply be set-up and switched on within half an hour of them arriving. They’re equally as easy to uninstall and take on your way. With innovations like this, it’s no wonder solar is predicted to grow 13.5 per cent annually to 2020.
The Haiku Designer Series LED light
How about an LED light fixture that’s so smart it knows when to dim itself or get a bit brighter as the light begins to fade? This Haiku Series LED intelligent lighting can even help you get to sleep. Schedule it to its dimmest setting (there are 16 different settings) and it’ll fool your body into thinking it’s effectively night time. As a result you’ll release the chemical melatonin – the one which helps us nod off.
SelectCycler house ventilation system
Hard to believe right now, but there may come a time in the UK this summer when we desperately need cooling down in our homes. If so, the programmable Panasonic’s SelectCycler is just the thing since it’s designed to ventilate the entire home – simply and at little expense. That’s because it detects where the air is coming from and enables it to flow throughout the home (rather than blasting out cool air exhaust-style) like traditional ventilation systems.
Bosch Greentherm 9900i SER
There’s nothing thankless about this tankless heater from one of the world’s leading electrical manufacturers. The Greentherm 9000 Series unit is incredibly efficient, has a smart glass front and integrated Wi-Fi allowing it to be controlled remotely via a mobile app.
Tankless units like this heat the water via combustion as it flows through the heat exchanger. Hot water is achieved via hot gases which then cool down outside. The hotter the gases, the less energy used to heat the water and the more efficient the boiler is.
*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.
Ann Carr is a representative of Anwyl Homes, a UK house builder based in Flintshire, North Wales. For more information see: www.anwylhomes.co.uk.