8. A summary of where we’re up to

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I thought it was time to do a recap on what we’ve achieved so far in reducing our emissions, how much it’s cost and how easy the process has been. So here is a summary table of what we’ve done and how it’s gone.

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There are still a few things to investigate that could reduce our emissions even more. We need to do an audit of our appliances to see how efficient they are and also want to investigate batteries for power storage. There seem to be more and more companies offering various sorts of batteries for power storage – lithium ion, lead gel acid, zinc bromide and even salt-water (sodium ion). There are links to some of these here. The resident scientist says we need to research the different battery technologies and that over the next 12 months they will get better and cheaper so we should wait for a bit.

Our insulation is pretty crappy, and the back door doesn’t close properly, leaving a big gap for draughts. Fixing those would make a difference to the energy needed for heating and cooling the house. Our hot water system is instantaneous gas, so I am wondering if there’s any room left on our roof for a solar thermal hot water system. Double-glazing on the windows is supposed to make a big difference to the power required for heating and cooling – I’ll get a quote but I expect it will be a too expensive to do at present. And in the garden, my water tanks are only a quarter full and don’t look like being enough to survive the current El Niño.

I think what we’ve done so far has made a big difference but there’s still more to do.

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