Achieving Greater Business Energy Efficiency

A recent article by the American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy listed 10 programs that spurred organisations and customers to save energy. The findings acutely show that behavioural programs can be especially effective.

Improving energy efficiency is an important topic on the timetable of most organisations these days. The benefits are numerous, from lowering carbon footprint to the most outstanding of all cutting down on costs with energy. So million dollar question is: How to enhance business energy efficiency?

There are many ways to do so but this is not quite what I want to talk about in this column. I wont be propounding you change all the lights in your company to LED lights, even though that is one the most cost effective ways to enhance your business’ energy efficiency.

In this item I’d like to contest what is more effective consumer education or infrastructure updates. One could say that by combining both you could achieve greater results but that you will have to adjudge once you have finished reading this article.

Purchaser education has proven to be an effective way to better energy efficiency of households and businesses alike. When combined with programs that apply social science to energy conservation it can incite individuals to reduce consumption and make choices that will enable their companies to save as well.

Such programmes are an attractive way to reduce energy consumption since they have low initial cost and require little change to existing business processes / lifestyles.

However, simply relying on consumer/employee education might not be adequate. There is a real danger that energy efficiency gains seen from consumer/employee behaviour will go away over time.

That is when infrastructural upgrades come into the picture. Even though they necessitate a greater upfront investment if evaluated properly and done right such upgrades could generate better benefits. The down side is that most of these benefits will only be noticed in the long run.

But there is no better time to start upgrading your business with more energy efficient machinery. With many governments around the globe offering funds to subsidise these changes. For instance here in the UK the Government is creating the Green Investment Bank.

If you are unsure of which route to take in order to save energy. Why not ask for professional help. Hire an energy consultancy or an independent energy broker to inspect your premises and suggest the best and most effective options for you business.

Insights Into Interior Design Designing In Style. Part Iii Traditional – Georgian

Global Interior Design Consultancy Company in London, UK for interior design services.
Interior design has always been impacted by fashion trends – both historically and in the modern day. In this article series, “Designing in Style,” I explore the meaning of style for interior designers. I draw on my experience working alongside many of London’s best-known interior design teams.

This third article in my series continues my discussion of traditional/period design, with a focus on the Georgian style.

In terms of dates, the Georgian period is generally considered to have extended from 1714 until 1830. It has since inspired one of the most popular traditional interior design schemes.

London design was considered world-class in Georgian times – UK craftspeople were highly skilled and uniquely specialised. The wealthiest classes insisted on the highest quality, with exacting standards in terms of dimensions and proportions.

A few designers were particularly famous during the Georgian era. Their names, ideas and concepts live on today in the many homes and residences that feature Georgian-inspired interior designs.

William Kent lived from 1684 until 1748 and was an architect/interior designer who is best known for his tables and chairs which featured extravagant gilt decorations and strong connections to Greek and Roman insignia. Today these traditional designs continue to be used by many London Interior Design Consultancies that specialise in the Georgian style.

Thomas Chippendale is a name famous to many discerning Londoners. This cabinet-maker lived from 1718 until 1779 and designed furniture that was less ostentatious than that of William Kent, consistent with British (and London) tastes at the time, and yet exceedingly graceful and refined. Interior designers today will adopt either Chippendale’s original designs or re-envisionments/replicas of his originals.

Finally, Robert Adam was an architect and interior designer who dominated the 1770s with his vivacious use of Roman and Greek motifs, including urns, tripods, and mythological iconography.

Today, London interior design consultancies tend to be cautious with Georgian designs, recognising that this style can look pretentious if too pronounced. Larger, more spacious London mansions with tall ceilings are best suited to the Georgian style of interior design.

The next article in my series “Designing in Style” moves away from historic traditions and focuses in on a timeless interior design classic – the rural countryside.
Global Interior Design Consultancy Company in London, UK for interior design services.

Choosing A Kitchen Worktop

The kitchen is one of the most important rooms in the home, being a functional space where culinary masterpieces are created and having another use as a social space for entertaining or interaction.

Choosing the right kitchen to reflect your cooking requirements and the style of your property is vital, as the kitchen is a room where you are likely to spend a lot of time in and can add considerable value to your property.

As well as choosing paint colours, units, sinks and accessories, perhaps the most pressing ingredient to consider when designing your new kitchen is worktops. Depending on your cooking and entertaining balance, it is better to choose a worktop that can fulfil your requirements, whilst looking stylish in your kitchen.

Stone kitchen worktops are perhaps the hardest wearing of all work surfaces and as such are favoured by avid cooking fans. Popular stone includes granite, marble, slate and quartz. Such materials can give a high shine, expensive look to any well-designed kitchen. In addition to an opulent feel, stone worktops are durable, hard wearing and water resistant – the most well known of these being granite worktops. Hampshire residents to Leicestershire inhabitants can easily obtain stone worktops as they are widely available across the UK from bespoke suppliers to DIY stores.

For an industrial look, in a modern apartment or architect designed property, stainless steel work surfaces can provide a professional and bright theme – think stark white combined with a metallic and glass finish. Water resistant and incredibly durable, stainless steel worktops are favoured by professional chefs – do be sure to use a chopping board however, as they can be easily scratched.

Those who enjoy a more rustic country kitsch theme, will perhaps appreciate the natural beauty of wood worktops. With its anti bacterial properties and large range of colours and types of wood, such worktops are popular in large family kitchens. To prevent drying out, it is prudent to proof work surfaces annually – protecting against damage from spills.

Cyprus Luxury Furniture First To Offer Furniture Finance For Uk Buyers In Cyprus

Mark Sykes and Simon Gawthorpe, founding directors of Cyprus Luxury Furniture Packs are always looking for ways to make furnishing properties in Cyprus easier for their customers. Their latest offering is low rate finance (subject to status) on all furniture and related packages. This includes everything youll need to make your Cyprus property ready to live in or rent out such as; Furniture, electricals, cutlery, crockery, linen, dcor and outdoor furniture.

Simon commented Buying furniture for an apartment or villa in Cyprus can be expensive and time consuming so anything that makes the cost easier to bear has to be good, particularly in the current financial climate.

The business was started as a result of the directors being property investors. Wed been buying property in Cyprus for the last 9 years and over that time we had tried every way possible to get our properties furnished how wed like them. This meant sourcing stylish furniture, durable enough to withstand year round use from people renting their properties but at a reasonable price.

Mark went on to explain The obvious choice was to deal with the local furniture suppliers, however most of their stock is aimed at the domestic market and is quite old fashioned pine furniture, which doesnt really look right in a modern apartment or villa. In particular it doesnt really hold much appeal for people looking to rent your property out. Also its very expensive, I guess due to the lack of competition on the island. Next up we decided to bring our own furniture from the UK, this was costly on a small scale and the paper work and customs procedures were quite daunting, in all this did give us the furniture we wanted, but it was such hard work and took most of my holiday allocation for that year.

After furnishing our own properties we started to get enquiries from developers and other investors asking where we got our furniture from. They were in the same position, they didnt want to spend a lot of money on the wrong furniture, but they didnt fancy the hassle of doing the job themselves either. We did some rough calculations and realised if we could get enough interest to fill a 40ft container the shipping cost and effort might be viable

Weve been fortunate enough to secure the same suppliers as used by many of the mid to top end furniture retailers in the UK. Except because we buy in bulk and sell to our customers at somewhere between trade and retail we can also absorb the shipping and installation costs making us exceptional value for money. With the addition of finance we are hoping to be able to help UK investors spread the cost of furnishing their properties while still benefiting from our low prices and fully inclusive service.

Useful Factors To Choose A New Office Location

Starting a business in UK requires significant startup capital and help with cost in terms of grants, reduced charges, loans, equipment and discounted premises to establish their presence in the market.

Without considering expertise business strategies and suggestions, a business can undergo in to a big problem. Choosing an ideal business location can be one of the major decisions while selecting a location for business. A non idyllic location can affect productivity and efficiency of a business.

What are the major aspects that should be taken while purchasing a location? Before investing in location, you have to carefully judge what your business needs are. This one step focuses your search and minimizes needless inquiries.

Your staff shouldnt be expected to travel long distances every day to come to work Think about this if you are considering a location which is too far from some main ports and roads. Travelling a long distance wont go very well with your employees and you can expect higher attrition rates.

There are also some great number of situations and reasons why a business might need to change place or find a new location. A firm wants to expand business may need a new office location for business expansion or to establish another branch in different location.

A business corporation facing uncompetitive expenditures in business may go for a cheaper location.

Some of the features that must take into account while deciding a business location or while moving to a new business location are:

1.)Communication is decisive factor for every business company. Bad infrastructure availability can affect the business infrastructure in different way. A firm engaged in importing or exporting goods desires an area close from good road links and ports. Choose your business location by considering distance of locations from ports and major population centers.

2.)A business location with better support of money and investment is an ideal business location for them, if help with costs is a key consideration while deciding a suitable location.

3.)A highly unemployment area can also have a bad effect on business efficiency and productivity.

4.)If the area is adapted to the needs of your business area then everything should become easier to set up and run a business.

5.)Businesses often find a huge advantage by choosing a business location near to universities and colleges. This could be the major feature for a successful business.

6.)It is not enough to choose business locations for its current benefits. A good indicator of a locations strategy is the expansion that are being constructed or planned in the area.

7.) Quality of life is a wide and subjective matter to explain. The quality of life in their area can be judge in terms of housing, learning, culture, recreational activities, alternative energy and environmentally-friendly facilities. It can make easy for you to get a more attentive and better staff.

These are some useful points to note down and apply it to case studies you have. These points can surely help you to locate a good business location. This process will allow any business owner to define what is important to consider before selecting a business location.

Hotpoint Tvm562 Vented Tumble Dryer

Hotpoint have recently been voted the Most Trusted Domestic Appliance Brand in the UK for the 9th consecutive year through the Readers Digest Survey. What is it which makes Hotpoint such a popular brand? It is down to several factors included in their range of appliances, such as price, style, reliability, features and functionality. The Hotpoint TVM562 vented tumble dryer is a brilliant example of an appliance which is popular and contains brilliant features to help you when doing the laundry.

The Hotpoint Aquarius TVM562 tumble dryer is a really practical machine, if you are looking for an appliance which offers excellent cleaning quality teamed with everyday features and functions then this could be the tumble dryer for you. The Hotpoint TVM562 tumble dryer is C energy rated and has been recognised as being Energy Saving Recommended by the Energy Saving Trust. Everyone should be doing their bit to be greener starting in the kitchen with energy saving appliances can be a great way of starting to help to protect the environment.

The Hotpoint TVM562 vented tumble dryer has some brilliant features and functions, such as the reverse tumble action. This feature prevents clothing from tangling when drying which results in less creasing this also means less ironing for you which is a great bonus!

The Hotpoint TVM562 vented tumble dryer has an end of cycle alarm which alerts you when the dry load is ready to be emptied. It is all too easy to forget about a laundry load when its tucked away in the machine having a gentle reminder to empty the load is great for those who forget! Empting close to the end of a cycle will help to prevent additional creases.

Other features of the Hotpoint TVM562 vented tumble dryer include high and low heat settings, set and forget sensor drying, final cool tumble, easy iron, delay timer and safety start button. All of which contribute to a hassle free life when it comes to doing the laundry!

The Hotpoint TVM562 vented tumble dryer comes in a choice of either polar white or graphite, both of which are great colours to fit in with any kitchens design.

Vented tumble dryers will carry any moisture which is created when drying your clothing through an external venting hose which means that this type of appliance must be placed next to an outside wall so that the moisture can be vented successfully.

When buying a tumble dryer it is important to decide which features you will find useful, the Hotpoint TVM562 vented tumble dryer has everything you need to feel confident when drying every laundry load easy iron programmes are a favourite around the UK because lets face it, no one like spending time doing the ironing!

Landscaping Companies How To Choose The Best Online The Fast And Easy Way!

Do you want to landscape your yard? Are you searching for the best landscaping company online? There is nothing to fret and frown as there are many companies that provide a plethora of landscaping and ground maintenance services. Maintaining a proper garden/yard is quite difficult as it requires proper climatic conditions and regular care. Since most of the people are office goers, it becomes a challenge for them to maintain a garden properly. There are many companies that offer excellent services for individual and corporate use. Some of the services provided include landscaping, weed control & gritting, grounds maintenance, pest control, and more.

If your home is infested by pests, then you must choose the right pest control service provider and put an end to the problem. Some of the common pests that cause problems include cockroaches, wasps, mosquitoes, ants, flies, and more. Removing these troublemakers cannot be handled by someone without experience. Professionals on the other hand have years of experience in the field and they can handle any problem at the blink of an eye. They offer value-added services that include 24 hours call out service, rapid response service, protection services, and more.

Nowadays, many people love to choose artificial lawns as they are not expensive and at the same time beautiful to look at. Installing these lawns is not a cumbersome task as it can be done quickly and easily. When choosing a landscaping company, make sure that the company provides cost-effective services. You can also get quotes from various companies and then choose the one that you want. Genuine landscaping companies provide excellent services that will not only help you save time, but also money. You can also enquire your friends about the company that you are going to choose. Apart from landscaping, many companies provide commercial ground maintenance services at pocket-friendly rates.

Whether it is landscaping or ground maintenance, you can get it done right away by choosing the best company online. If you want to have a synthetic lawn, you can seek the help of artificial lawn installers. Nowadays people choose artificial lawns as they are easy to maintain and easy to clean. Landscaping companies in the UK provide grounds maintenance services and a host of other services for corporates and individuals. They serve all the major areas in the UK that include Essex, Hampshire, Kent, Berkshire, among others. You can also contact the customer care professionals and clarify your doubts regarding landscaping and ground maintenance services. So what more do you need? Choose the best company online right away without wasting a minute!

Insights Into Interior Design Designing In Style. Part I Foundations

Global Interior Design Consultancy Company in London, UK for interior design services.
Interior design has always been impacted by fashion trends – both historically and in the modern day. In this article series, “Designing in Style,” I explore the meaning of style for interior designers. I draw on my experience working alongside many of London’s best-known interior design teams. This first article in my series outlines some of the basic concepts.

One of the first things to note is that we change our interiors much less frequently than we change our clothing. As a result, it is important for the professional interior designer to not design too “fashionable” a room for fear that it might seem completely outdated next year. Certainly it is possible to keep up with furniture fashions – many of which can be seen in London’s monthly interior design magazines – but the professional interior designer will generally prefer to focus on furniture fashions that can be easily changed. Examples include cushions, table decorations, rugs and bed linens.

London Interior Design trends can be very changeable. For example, in recent decades London saw a movement back towards the traditional. The Georgian-style Adam fireplace has seen a major revival, as have other old-fashioned features. Mouldings are very much in style today, and interior designers will commonly include them – whether in plaster or in wood.

Interestingly, the return of the dado rail (even in some of the smaller London residences) has also seen a re-envisioning of the two-tone wall colour scheme. In keeping with tradition, London interior design professionals will often choose a heavier, darker colour below the dado rail and a lighter colour above.

Fabric coordination is very much in vogue. With the increased availability of bespoke fabric centres in and around London, interior designers will often nowadays choose fabrics that are manufactured to match papers, borders, carpets, ceramics and even porcelain.

Finally, style should always be understood in the context of the available interior design space. No two rooms are identical, and every room has both strong points and weak points. The most experienced interior designers will choose styles that can showcase a room’s strengths while hiding its weaknesses. Examples of weaknesses in a room might include some structural re-engineering made by a previous owner, or perhaps an awkward architectural design fault that cannot be remedied today.

In the next article in this series on how interior designers “design in style,” I will introduce you to two of London’s most timeless design styles – Georg
Global Interior Design Consultancy Company in London, UK for interior design services.

How To Switch Suppliers Without Triggering An Exit Fee

UK residents have many choices when it comes to energy suppliers, but that doesnt mean that switching is always easy. Even when a new deal crops up that is better than another, a customer has to worry about exit fees. These can include fees also called cancellation and termination fees. These fees are assessed whenever a buyer tries to opt out of a previous energy contract before the actual period of service is over. They can range from as little as 5 to up to 50 per fuel type. Due to the simplification of the UK tariff structure, you may find yourself suddenly signed up to a more expensive tariff once your old tariff is no longer available. This automatic enrolment can also oblige you to pay an exit fee if you want to switch after the period for enrolment is over. Its the wise consumer that keeps an eye out for fees and asks about them before switching, even when the switch was not of their own doing.

Fixed rate plans

Fixed rate agreements usually carry early termination fees, and they tend to be more expensive than other plans. This can make it difficult to switch from one type of plan to another, as the fee will offset any savings in cost. Even if you have a change of heart in the middle of the winter season, you might find youre stuck with your deal, unless the utility will allow you to switch without a fee. If you have a fixed tariff, you will need to see what types of fees are associated with terminating the account before you actually decide to make that decision. You may find that you can still switch, even if it costs you, or that the company will waive the fee as long as you remain with them and not some other utility. The costs to terminate a fixed rate plan also depend on how far along you are in it.

Sometimes, you get lucky

If your energy supplier has to change the tariff rate, they must give you 30 days to decide whether you want to keep the tariff or not. If you choose not to keep it during this time, no termination fees apply. The reason for this is that the company has changed the terms of the contract making the previous contract null and void. Thus, the termination fees associated with the contract also do not apply. However, this is a special case and isnt bound to happen much. It might happen with a fixed rate if the supplier thinks theyre going to lose money by selling you their gas at a lesser price than the market can withstand. However, most fixed tariffs have excess leeway built into the price structure, so this might not ever happen to any of your tariffs. Instead, you might have to wait for the contract to be officially over.

Another option for switching

If you simply wait for the contract period to be over, you will also be given 30 days to make a switch without termination fees. Of course, by that time the heating season will be over and you probably wont know what next winter will be like either. The time period is limited and if you miss notifying your supplier of how you want to switch, you can lose the opportunity to do so without incurring an exit fee. Keep an eye on your contract terms to determine when you can switch without penalty.

When your previous tariff is dropped

You will also get the opportunity to switch when your previous tariff is dropped and becomes unavailable. Companies that are simplifying their fee structures will send out a letter advising you that you need to change your tariff or they will do it for you. Some will put you on their standard plan and others will pick a more expensive plan. Whatever it happens to be, it will also come with termination fees. If you want to be in control of switching, you have got to abide by the time limit set for making those choices. Otherwise, once the other tariff is in place (whether you agreed to it or not), you wont be able to make another switch without triggering exit fees.

How Cooling Systems Can Improve Your Energy Efficiency

The business case for energy efficiency is a powerful one. At the end of 2010, the Carbon Trust reported that the average return on investment of energy-efficiency projects carried out in commercial premises is 48%. Increasingly, it is becoming clear that to invest in sustainability is to save money.

But while the UK government is supporting carbon reduction by introducing grants and green initiatives, these have done little more than skew people’s perception of what represents an energy saving. With heavy focus applied to insulation and heating, cooling strategies have been left rather more out in the cold.

The hot topic

The government’s Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) was announced in March 2011 to drastically alter the way heat is generated and used in buildings and homes. Britain’s largest energy users are required by the CRC Energy Efficiency Scheme to start lowering carbon emissions so will naturally be enticed by such offers. But incentives like the RHI fail to acknowledge that when a commercial building is designed, the crowds of people and electrical appliances that then occupy it are not taken into account.

Human bodies and devices such as computers, printers, coffee makers, toasters and refrigerators generate an exceptional amount of heat and cause room temperatures to dramatically increase. So, instead of heating, most commercial buildings need to bring temperatures down in order to maintain a comfortable environment and maintain staff productivity.

Office cooling, namely air conditioning, represents a huge energy burden, and can increase a building’s emissions by 100%, according to Carbon Trust research. So, to use it on a daily basis yet take a grant to invest in heating and insulation is a notion most people would surely see as perverse.

The reality of air conditioning is that, despite its widespread use, the energy it consumes often goes to waste. Realistically, without tackling this problem it is unlikely than any commercial building will be able to create a truly energy-efficient environment, no matter how much government grant money it is awarded.

Here comes the sun

As we all know, when the sun comes out in the UK, it is met with something resembling blind panic. Whether in the heights of summer or the depths of winter, sunshine causes heat to build up through unprotected glass windows. These windows then get thrown open to create a through draft, or in colder months, blinds will be snapped shut to block out the sun’s glare, meaning that lights have to be switched on. Either way, this behaviour ends up negating the effect of air conditioning, causing wildly fluctuating internal temperatures and eating up a large, unnecessary supply of heat and energy.

Such widespread and basic energy wastage should not be allowed to continue. Maintaining stable internal temperatures requires more than efficient heating and insulation; businesses need a cooling solution that minimises air conditioning, allows natural light to enter the building and helps to block out heat, rather than trap it within the building. One of the most simple and most cost-effective solutions that can deliver all of these benefits is one you may not have heard of: solar-control window film.

By rejecting up to 82% of solar energy, window film can reduce internal temperatures by up to ten degrees. This stops air conditioning units from being maxed out during sunny spells, meaning that internal temperatures are kept stable and extreme peaks in energy usage are reduced.

Cooling systems can therefore be run more efficiently and inexpensively, reducing a building’s cooling load by 30%, or roughly 5% of the energy bill. If window film were taken into consideration during the design stages of a new building, savings would be greater still as businesses would reduce cooling requirements from the outset; using smaller, cheaper air conditioning units that are easier to install and maintain. In plain English, this could mean thousands of pounds in savings to many UK firms.

Love in a cold climate

With budgets being squeezed and such significant carbon reductions to be made, the heat is on for UK businesses to find meaningful ways to lower emissions. It is the responsibility of our government to steer them in the right direction. Improved insulation and heating is, without doubt, an effective means of preventing energy waste, but without considering the likely effects of over-heating, businesses are in danger of missing the bigger picture.

While most UK businesses will currently look to insulation as their first port of call for energy savings, more vocal support for solutions such as window film by government schemes and incentives, would show these companies that such measures are just the tip of the iceberg.