What do we mean by Carbon
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Green Deal

What do we mean by Carbon

What do we mean by Carbon?

The Basics

Home energy renewable technologies and low-carbon micro generation such as micro-CHP, are good for the environment and good for your pocket too.  Low-carbon technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and biomass boilers let you generate your own energy, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint in the process.  What’s more, with government financial incentives available, it’s never been a better time to install.

What is renewable energy?

Renewable Home Energy SourcesHome energy renewable technologies and low-carbon micro generation such as micro-CHP, are good for the environment and good for your pocket too.  Low-carbon technologies such as wind turbines, solar panels and biomass boilers let you generate your own energy, saving money and reducing your carbon footprint in the process.  What’s more, with government financial incentives available, it’s never been a better time to install.

Energy from sunlight

Heat from the earth, the air or water sources

Plants grown for fuel (biomass or biofuels)

Waste

The movement of water (know as hydro) and wind

What Renewable technologies are available?

What renewable technologies are available? There are lots of different technologies accessible usually used to produce electricity or to generate heat, but what do they do?

Maximise the use of sustainable sources

Reduce the dependence on non-renewable energy

Help to keep the air clean

Help to reduce the production of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases

Create new jobs in renewable energy industries

Saving and earning your customers money

Greater savings with renewable technology

While the Feed in tariff for electricity generating solar PV panels is going down, the average cost for electricity is going up.  In addition the cost of panels is going down which means that now could be a great time to invest in a solar PV.  A typical 4kWP panel could generate and save you £785 per year.

Despite costs falling over the last year, they do vary between installers and system sizes (costs can be between £5,500 and £9,000), so it is recommended to obtain quotes from at least three MCS accredited installers.

It is also worth exploring renewable technologies, such as heat pumps, following the announvement of financial incentives through the Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI).  Not only will households benefit from the energy savings but they will also receive additional income for the energy produced.

We each affect our environment in many different ways – driving, flying, heating our homes, even the type of foods we eat make a difference.  With all these different things to think about, it’s hard to work out your overall impact.

The Answer:

Your carbon footprint – a single figure that gives you a quick idea of your impact on carbon change.  Carbon footprints are easy to calculate, compare and understand – here we explain the basics to get you started.

What do we mean by carbon?

When people talk about carbon emissions and carbon footprints, they usually mean carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions.
Carbon dioxide is released when we burn carbon-based fuels.  Almost all fuels are carbon-based, including:

 

Petrol and diesel in our cars

Gas, oil and coal in our homes and power stations

Jet fuel in aeroplanes

 

Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas – it traps the sun’s heat and keeps the earth warm.  Too much CO2 in the air leads to climate change, also known as global warming. Other greenhouse gases, such as methane, also contribute to climate change.  Countries and organisations count these as part of their carbon emissions.  But for individuals the most important carbon emission is carbon dioxide.

A carbon footprint is the amount of carbon dioxide that enters the atmosphere because of the electricity and fuel you use.  It’s measure in tonnes of carbon dioxide.

 

A carbon footprint mostly depends on:

 

How much energy you use to heat your home

The electronics and appliances you use

Which kind of transport you use day-to-day

How often you fly

 

Knowing your carbon footprint helps you understand your impact on the environment – and, more importantly, find easy ways to reduce that impact.In 2010 the UK produced 496 million tonnes of carbon dioxide.  Some of this is produced by business and industry – but around 30% comes directly from household energy use. Energy use in the home account for around 3.2 tonnes per household, and that’s not even including emissions from transport usage.

By making UK households more energy efficient and by reducing our transport energy consumption we can make big reductions in the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions.

Carbon Calculator

Use the government backed Carbon Calculator below to work out how much energy you use and what you can do to save energy and reduce your energy usage bills.

Act on your CO2

How to reduce the carbon footprint

The UK aims to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by 80% below 1990 levels by 2050. To help make that happen, we should all aim to achieve a low carbon foot. You might do things like: