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Energy Hierarchy

Energy Hierarchy

When producing an energy strategy for a development, the energy hierarchy provides the most practical and cost effective methodology to achieve a low carbon development. This is a five stage process as detailed below:

 

1. Energy Reduction

Reduce the amount of energy used. In the simplest form this means turning off equipment which is not needed. Looking at intelligent lighting systems, timing the heating system for optimum operation.

2. Energy Efficiency

Using energy efficient systems, such as "A" rated electrical appliances and insulating the building as much as possible. Additionally, it means looking at passive design elements such as south facing windows and overhangs to capture solar energy efficiently.

3. Renewable Energy

Having reduced the energy demand of a building as much as possible, the remainder of power must be generated. This phase involves generating heat and electricity from renewable generators. This includes photovoltaic panels and wind turbines for electricity, solar thermal for water heating.

4. Low Carbon Energy

For the energy which can not be generated through renewables, low carbon technologies can be used. These include ground/air/water source heat pumps.

5. Conventional Energy

With no other options left, the final part of a building's energy demand will be generated through using conventional polluting options. In an optimum development this final phase will not be reached.


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