The simple water and energy saving measures implemented in energy poor households encompassed by the REACH project are: LEDs, draft proofing measures, heat reflective panels and tap aerators.
Light emitted by LEDs (light-emitting diode) is a result of electron movement in semiconductors. LEDs consume up to 9 times less energy than incandescent light bulbs. One 13 W LED emits as much light as a 75 W incandescent light bulb. Additionally they last many times longer than incandescent light bulbs, around 15 years of normal household use. The total energy and financial savings compensate for the slightly higher purchase price.
DRAFT PROOFING MEASURES
Rubber seals for windows and doors substantially reduce heat losses and eliminate drafts in households. They are installed on the edge of windows and doors to prevent cold air from getting into and warm air from getting out of the household. Consequently they reduce heating energy consumption. They are easily installed and affordable, but usually only a short term solution to the problem.
HEAT REFLECTIVE PANELS FOR RADIATORS
Heat reflective panels were installed on exterior household walls behind radiators. They reflect up to 95% of heat and direct it towards the centre of the room thus reducing heat loss through walls and overall heating energy consumption. They are relatively easily installed, but their price is perhaps too high in relation to their efficiency.
A tap aerator is a device that mixes tap water with air. Its implementation enables yearly savings of 30% to 60% on water and energy used to heat water. A tap aerator reduces the flow rate from 12 L/min to 7.5 L/min. Savings are significant, installation easy and the price affordable.
Thermometers were also distributed to enable citizens to better monitor the temperature in their households. By lowering the thermostat temperature 1°C, approximately 5% of heating energy can be saved.