Environment Watch

Misleading Environmental Claims

It is easy to be mislead by advertisers' claims for environment advantages of their products. Here are a few we have found that are misleading.

Boiling a Kettle
The most common claim is that energy is wasted when boiling too much water in an electric kettle. The truth is that some energy may be wasted, but it is unlikely that all the energy that adverts claim is wasted! Changing how much water you boil may not reduce the environmental impact of your actions as much as you thought. In some very specific cases there is no environmental reason to only boil the water required.
Condensing Boilers
Condensing boilers are more efficient than the older style non-condensing boilers. However the "super" efficiency of condensing boilers only occurs when the condensing boiler is in its "condensing" mode. If radiator temperature is kept below about 55C - a temperature that should keep most UK households warm in winter - the boiler will be operating exclusively in the "super" efficient condensing mode. The same is unlikely to be true when the boiler is heating up hot water. Most hot water systems are set to have a temperature of at least 60C. Many (e.g. NHS) recommend that water should be heated to above 60C or cooled to below 20C to preventing an outbreak of Legionnaires' disease. In order to heat water to 60C the boiler will be heating its water to at least 75C. This is well above the temperature for the boiler to run in condensing mode. In the summer months when the boiler only heats water it does not spend much time in condensing mode so the saving are small (around 10%). Most energy is used in winter for space heating and providing the radiator temperature is kept below 55C the boiler will be running in the "super" efficient condensing mode where the saving will be around 30% compared to traditional equipment.
England's Energy Crisis 2014
It is often purported by HM Government that the UK does not have an energy shortage. While that may be true of the UK, it may not be true for the UK.

Valid XHTML 1.0! Valid CSS!