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What happens next in Venezuela’s political crisis

The current situation in Venezuela – two of the country's most powerful men warring against each other- hasn't really had any closure. Apart from...

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What happens next in Venezuela’s political crisis

The current situation in Venezuela – two of the country's most powerful men warring against each other- hasn't really had any closure. Apart from...

EPP attacks leave two dead

President Federico Franco announced on Wednesday that a military contingent was to be deployed to Concepción in Northern Paraguay following two separate attacks thought...

What can we expect from Bolivia’s Mother Earth Law?

On 15 October 2012, Bolivia’s President Evo Morales promulgated one of the most radical environmental legislation in global history: the Law of Mother Earth....

Indec’s ‘basic food basket’ under scrutiny

A measure of consumer food prices calculated by Argentina’s Instituto Nacional de Estadísticas y Censos (National Insitute of Statistics and Census – Indec) was...

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Solar Panels: Could this be the start of an energy saving revolution?

Many consumers of energy have started to ask themselves if solar panels are worth the investment, and if they are able to save you money in the long term. Solar panel technology is relatively new in the consumer space and has started to see adoption increase in certain countries around the world. If you use a lot of energy, these can be considered to be an attractive proposition. To get the most benefit, you’ll also want to make sure you’re paying the lowest price possible for your gas and electricity. Ultimately, the total amount you can save from solar panels alone will depend on your usage statistics, where you’re located in the country and how much the total installation cost will be.

How do solar panels help you save money on energy?

For solar panels to be a viable energy cost reduction option, you will need to live in your current property long enough to recover the initial installation costs. By using this technology, you’ll be less reliant on electricity from the power grid as you’ll be generating your own. Over the past decade, the cost of electricity has soared, so if you’re able to generate your own power, you can save even more. Even while you’re not at home, you can store any energy that has been produced and use it at a later time. Previously, some customers even had the option to sell this energy back to the grid, although this Government initiative is no longer available to new customers. Aside from helping you save money; solar panels can also help to increase your property’s market value. Those in the property market may be more willing to pay the asking price, as this is a desirable feature, and will only become more popular in the coming years. This is especially important when you consider that we’re heading towards a more sustainable future. If you’re a landlord, a tenant may be willing to pay a little extra as they will save this amount on their utility bills.

Is solar panel technology worth the investment?

The amount you will be able to save through using solar panel technology will depend on a number of different factors. We have outlined these below.

Energy consumption

Start by looking at your gas and electricity bills for the past 12 months. If you see that your consuming a lot of energy, your household may benefit from installing a system with around 5kW capacity. This would help you generate between 18kW/h to 25kW/h. These figures are a rough estimate and will depend on how much sunlight is available and where you’re located. Most residential solar panels currently available are rated to produce between 250 and 400 watts each per hour. Domestic solar panel systems typically have a capacity of between 1 kW and 4 kW.

Usage pattern

The energy you generate through your solar panels will always be used before you access power from the grid. This means that if you’re primarily consuming energy whilst your panel is generating it, you will be less reliant on the grid helping you reduce your bill.

Energy Storage

Most installations will include an energy storage facility. This will allow you to store energy and use it later on when you need it. For example, during the day you could be at work while energy is being generated, allowing you to make use of it later in the evening upon your return.

System capacity

The more panels you’re able to fit on your roof, the more energy you will be able to generate. Having a system with larger storage capacity will also help you avoid wasting excess power. The size of your property will determine how many panels can be installed.

Your location

The amount of power you will be able to generate will depend on where you’re located in the country. It’s worth noting that solar panels don’t necessarily need direct sunlight and can utilise normal daylight.

Initial cost of installation|

One of the biggest barriers to entry for many interested customers will be the initial cost of installation. Typically, you can expect this to cost at least £5,000 in the UK. This figure could be much higher depending on what option you choose. It’s worth checking if you’re eligible for any Government grants. Hopefully, as the technology becomes more popular and manufacturing costs are reduced, this will become far more affordable in the near future. In summary, installing a solar panel system in your home will initially be expensive. However, you will likely see savings over a longer period of time. Think about your household energy consumption, and where you live in the country to see if you can take advantage of this modern technology. It may be worth waiting to see how things evolve rather than becoming an early adopter.

Latest Thatch Building Methods & Thatch Insurance for Peace of Mind

The building of homes and other buildings has been carried out for centuries using the same traditional methods. In this method foundations are first laid, walls are built, roofs get added, and then any work needed in the interior is carried out. The materials used in these methods can greatly vary from stone, brick and mortar, wood, metal, mud, thatch and others. In the more recently used methods of building, foundations continue to be the first activity, while the actual superstructure is built in factories under controlled conditions, and can include all finishes for both the interior and the exterior, any needed plumbing and electricity and flooring. This is a modular method of building that requires the building to be transported to the site to be fixed in place. In both cases, it is important that the design and planning of the proposed building be carried out earlier. The land on which the building is to be constructed has to be prepared to receive the building. Often, it is also necessary to obtain permissions and approvals, before any building work is started. The majority of buildings being constructed traditionally still use brick and mortar, with some concrete and wood for roofs. There has been a trend in recent times to go back to older traditional materials such as thatch, for the construction of houses, even with Thatched Insure Thatch Insurance. The use of materials that are available locally has led to reduced costs, while the use of more natural materials has led to environmental benefits. Building using stone that is locally available, mud or lime that is there in the vicinity, wood from forests that grow nearby, straw and thatch make up for building material that has been used by centuries by people all over the world. The only drawback of using these materials has been that they required higher maintenance, which was even made easier by the ready availability of all needed materials. Earth and mud and thatch houses are even now in wide use in poorer countries and continue to use traditional building methods to deal with their need for housing. One advantage that comes from using traditional construction techniques is that every building is unique, and allows for changes to be made at every stage of construction, thus leading to a building that is completely customised to the needs of the homeowner having the building constructed. Modular homes, on the other hand, require an assembly method of construction in which changes are not easy to incorporate. One disadvantage with the traditional methods of construction is that it takes longer. It requires the use of particular skills at each stage of construction. There is no continuity of work for the people employed in the construction, as each stage has to be completed before the next one requiring their skills is needed to be taken up. This can lead to higher costs of construction and require more time, because of the start and stop method that traditional building methods often require. Traditional construction methods, however, do lead to the building of structures that have better quality.

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