More and more 'green/sustainable thinking' is required, not only in business, but also at home.
In other words: THINK when living and using the means which are available .....
At the same time we must admit that we are not prepared to 'sacrifice' too much to ease of handling and for comfort & quality of living.
Assumptions & conditons
'Green/sustainable thinking' has many aspects.
But it always starts with considering what you really need:
- "Good = enough", therefore do not expand too much ....
- Keep the environment free of 'loading' substances
- no or limited purchase of articles for which production, use or removal may harm the environment
- take care that matarials are removed in appropriate way
- THINK before purchase of articles, because
if you do not need it, it has least cost ...
- hiring or borrowing is less 'loading' the purse and the environment
- first look wheter and how a purchase is best realised
- consider for what, how often and how long you will apply and article and what life-cycle it has
=> trade-off between offers, incl. options for discounts and for subsidies
=> trade-off between ease-of-use and cost of application
=> can you apply the articles yourself, or do you need help for good effect?
- what is the secondary destination after your use of the article?
=> not only sale-by-internet, but also as integrated part of your house
==> 'own inventions / exotic configuration' may be handy for yourself, but can have negative impact on future sales
- home growing of vegetables and fruit has benefits, like cooperation with regional producers supports the local economy and saves cost on transport and on brokering
=> healthier quality of food
=> work in the garden is pleasant & healthy
- Try to limit consumption of energy, water and goods
- save where possible with a sensible attitude to comfort
=> passive&natural measures (like timely shielding and closure/opening of windows and doors) are better than active measures (like forced ventialation and heating/cooling), because the first approach saves on 'purchased' energy
- consume energy in periods of best availability = pay attention to differences in tariffs and to the availabilty of PV-production
- try to reduce 'losses'
- take care that the supporting technology meets minimal requirements, and try to improve by simple & cheap means
=> THINK for switching equipment, because 'out'= 'no consumption/ no loss'
=> do not save on maintenance, because well-functioning equipment (in general) has best efficiency and least additional cost
=> think ahead, because your housemates and 'successors' must be able to deal with the things you have included, and they must see the added value
- consumables to be purchased with moderation and to be consumed in time.
Many of the above aspects depend on the attitude to living and to thinking ahead by the users.
'Measuring => Insight', or
Continously read-out of the meters provides the information related to development of the aspects mentioned below.
Such as a longterm survey on consumption of gas/degree day per year, relative PV-production/year and amount of sunhours/year.
Next come also technical aspects:
- Your house will be built according to rules which are valid at a certain date & time, which rules determine the standards for construction, isolation and quality.
[Our house is according to Netherlands' Bouwbesluit 2003]
=> improvements therefore always will be a trade-off between effort, cost and 'gain'.
- isolation windows, walls, roofs and floors
- sophistication of the heating system(s)
- type of energy applied for heating & cooking
- ventilation system.
For ourselves strict displine in energy-consumption has resulted in only the addition of the PV-system and some improvements for isolation and for reduction of moisture:
- Radiators all shielded by foil at the side of the outer walls, to prevent loss of energy through those outer walls
- 'Saving/ conservative' settings for the heating system
- Several radiators fitted with 'boosters' (= fan-boxes) which' air-flow extracts extra energy from the radiators
=> quicker/shorter heating curve & more energy extracted
- Radiators in secondary rooms use thermostat-control, preventing that unnecessary high temperatures occur
- Floor-isolation improved in 2012 with Tonzon-kussens for passive shielding and for more uniform temperature of the floor
- Extra wall-isolation in in a store-room to keep out heat and cold
- Dry walls are better isolation
=> Reduction of the influence of moisture coming up through the walls in 2016 by fitting of Carebrick
- The PV-System since 2004 generates a direct contribution to energy-supply, which since 2016 almost compensates the 'consumption'.
=> intention is to become 'neutral' for electrical power supply relative to the grid (at least a yearly base).
Local energy storage is not yet interesting, because not economical under the Dutch rules for 'saldering'.
[Summarized, the amount of surplus energy you 'push' to the grid can be 'pulled back' at the same price, which roughly means that in summer you "charge the battery of the grid", and in winter you "suck back". If "push & suck" are in balance, in practise you don't pay the grid (except for the cost of network operation & maintenance)]
- The Meteo-System provides information on external aspects which affect the balnce of energy, while the Domotics enable controlling of various related functions.
- The Domotics-System in an intelligent way tries to control the various 'energy-consumers' in and arond the house:
- switch on big users if sufficient 'own' PV-energy is available
- provide info to users related to the actual balance of energy.
- the Meteo-System, the PV-System and the Domotics-System provide detaile background-info and reports to the users.
For 'green/sustainable aspects' no 'big' plans needed:
just think how to invest the available money and resources (incl. you own energy!)
Furthermore, some refinements as mentioned under Experiments.
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