A place for Viv and her team to impart their latest thoughts and findings on a range of electrical and sustainability issues and offer advice on energy saving, installation and products.

Energy Efficiency

Last year, we were contacted by a local Stoke Newington resident, David, who has been living in his Victorian house for 19 years. Unfortunately, a couple of years ago, a burst pipe outside his home caused severe flooding of the property and meant that he was forced to completely strip out the basement in order for it dry.

Rather than lament an unfortunate, inconvenient and not to mention costly mishap, David turned his misfortune to his benefit by reconfiguring his house to not only make it far more energy efficient, but save money on energy bills long term.

David began by adding wall and floor insulation, doubling the loft insulation and adding sheet insulation under the rafters. As he points out “insulation is cheap, so that’s a no brainer”. He was also interested in other measures and included a new boiler which uses the waste heat to produce electricity ( a Baxi Ecogen.)

Athena Electrical were delighted to get involved in David’s forward thinking plans, and installed solar PV on the roof. We also installed a system called Optimmersion. If the panels are producing more electricity than the house can use, the surplus energy is used to run the immersion heater. In practice, this provides almost all the hot water required in the summer.

The boiler runs off gas, and produces maximum electricity (1kW) when the boiler is running at 20% of its maximum power. Running the boiler at higher powers produces no more electricity. As David says "it’s better to use less power over a long period than high power for a short period. We put in water-based under floor heating in half the house to do that”.

Having retro-fitted his house, David’s energy use is significantly lower, with perhaps the biggest improvement to his drafty Victorian building being the inclusion of insulated plasterboard inside the walls.

We should perhaps also mention, that as part of the whole re-fit, David added double-glazing to the windows and all of these combined energy efficiency measures means that his property has now achieved a Band A energy performance rating which is extremely rare for a Victorian house. He is now producing as much electricity as he uses. The solar panels have produced about 2600 units in a year - mainly in the summer. The boiler has produced about 1700 units - mainly through the winter months.

Being the only MCS accredited solar PV installer in the Hackney area brought David to our door, and we carried out the installation with minimum disruption to him and his home. David says he is ‘very happy’ with the improvements. ‘It feels like the right thing to do”.  We wish him all the best for his energy efficient future.

Posted by Athena Electrical on

It’s been a rather splendid summer (for once) so we hope you’ve all made the most of it. However, it seems that Autumn has descended and before long the nights will start drawing in. This means one sure thing … we’ll all be turning on more lights, and leaving them on for longer. We’ve decided to offer a special September deal on energy efficient lighting for this very reason, but first, here’s why …

Lighting accounts for about 8% of a typical household energy bill, and cutting down on your lighting usage is actually the easiest way to save both energy and money.

As electricians, we feel it is our duty to advise people on the best solutions and products that can ensure they cut down, not only their energy consumption, but unnecessary bills. After all, we’d all like to find ways to save money where possible. On this note, when it comes to lighting, we strongly advise that people replace their existing tungsten halogen bulbs with LEDs.

Why LED Lighting?

The funny thing about LEDs (Light Emitting Diodes) is that most people associate them with basic contraptions they made in school technology classes, or the light that blinks at them from across the room when their TV s on standby mode. For this reason, it comes as a surprise to many that as traditional light bulbs (which are incredibly inefficient) are being phased out, the best and most economic alternative is LED lighting.

The main problem we face when suggesting that people should adopt LED lighting as standard is the initial expense. They are far dearer than any other household lighting, so understandably, people are unable to see the benefits. The simple fact of the matter, is that once you’ve invested in LED lights, they will last up to 25 times longer than any other standard light bulbs, and have a far lower energy cost attached whilst they are in use. Very simply, they are far superior, and are now integral to intelligent control systems that reduce energy consumption even more.

So, once you’ve got over the initial outlay (which you will recoup), over the course of an LEDs lifetime, it will save you a considerable amount of money.

Give Us An Example

Let’s say you have ten 50W lamps in your house and they are turned on for an average of 36 hours per week. Over the course of a year, 10 Halogen lamps will cost you £146.95 with a lamp life of 2000 hours. The LED equivalent will only cost you £11.76 to run over the year and a staggering 30,000 hours lamp life. After deducting the cost of the lamps, in the first year, you will save £75.20, over two years, £230.39 and over a period of five years, you will save £695.98 by switching to LED lighting in your home.

Our advice is that the sooner you convert to LED lighting in your home, the sooner you will start reaping the rewards. It’s not just our opinion; the Energy Saving Trust (EST) recently carried out a field trial of LED light fittings in social housing, and reported that LED technology delivered huge energy savings, reduced costs and made residents feel safer.

Top Lighting Tips

* Don’t mistake low voltage lights for low energy lights. It’s a common mistake and won’t save you any money.

* If you have recessed lights in your house, make sure they’re ‘non fire-rated’.

* Over heated lights can cause transformers to cut out or fail.

Athena Electrical’s September Offer

We will replace four of your existing recessed light fittings with four Aurora 981 DLM fire-rated down light, complete with 4W LED (equivalent to light emitted by 50W halogen lamp) with 5 year Warranty.

AND ….

If your existing electrical connections aren’t in a suitable enclosure, we will fit Scolmore ‘Click’ Plugs free of charge.

September Offer - £180.00 exc VAT


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