Welcome to pacheco & asociados


Here you will find answers to many problems that expats may come across when embarking themselves in building or buying a place in the sun. These solutions and explanations shown here are the result of more than 25 years of experience working as an architect in Spain. These articles have been published previously in one of the best newspapers for expats in Spain, "Costa Blanca News".

 

If you have a particular problem which is not covered here, do not hesitate to send me an email and I will try to respond as soon as possible... and free of charge, of course.


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Let plants do the dirty job!

The air quality of some cities is not good, but the quality within homes or offices can be even worse. Contaminants of all kinds can be present in indoor areas with various harmful effects. The increasing use of plastics, detergents, varnishes, and the use of more efficient external joinery which hermetically seal off the incoming of fresh air is causing cancer figures to rise each year.

 

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Which appliances consume electricity even when switched off?

We have seen electricity prices rocketing up in Spain this winter. The Spanish electric companies offered very poor excuses before a passive Spanish Government. They picked on the coldest days of the year to increase electric prices by as much as 60%.

 

So apart from installing our own electric photovoltaic panels the next thing we can do is to save electricity by any means. One way of saving is to switch off all those appliances which we have on standby.   

 

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Proposed solutions to a more healthy and sustainable home.

1 in 2 men and 1 in 3 women will have cancer throughout their lives in Spain.

 

As a prelude to World Cancer Day, this February the 4th, SEOM presents the Cancer Figures in Spain 2017.  Tobacco, alcohol, obesity and sedentary habits increase the risk of cancer and are responsible for a third of , and this is supposed to be a reasonably healthy country……Mediterranean diet etc.

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Let’s produce our own electricity.

Everyone connected to Spanish electric grid had a good scare when on the coldest days of the year, around the 11th of January the Spanish electricity wholesalers announced that the price of electricity has reached its highest value since December 2013. The price boom has intensified in the last hours of the afternoon, when the cost of the megawatt hour (mwh) exceeds 92 Euros, a very high quota if you take into account that just a year ago the same mwh was worth 60 Euros, 33% less. 

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3 proposals to make a saving when rehabilitating your home

Believe it or not banks are beginning to charge for money deposited in their banks. That also means that obtaining a loan from them is at minimum levels specially if the money is invested to improve your home.

 

The current offer on loans for building works allows comparing several products and choosing the most economical.

 

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The best pension plan? Rehabilitate your home.

The energy saved in renovating a home may be more interesting as an investment than the interests that you may obtain from an endowment policy for retirement.

 

The efficiency obtained in the energy saved could be up to 1.675 Euros per year in a standard house.

 

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A half home

That was the original Chilean plan to create decent housing after a complete town was destroyed by an earthquake. A firm of architects devised a controversial strategy; they designed homes divided in two: 

 

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The revolutionary Tesla roof

If you haven’t heard the name Tesla it will probably be because you don’t have to pay nearly 60€ to fill your car’s tank every week as I do, and therefore you don’t read technical articles on electric cars praying for its arrival in Spain sooner than later. 

 

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Urban rooftop orchards. (Part 1)

This article points out the world's most outstanding urban gardens on rooftops, their advantages and challenges and how to create one.

 

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Ozone pollution in Spain, how it affects us.

This article points out how it affects Spain ozone pollution, how it is formed and what citizens can do to combat it.

 

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10 reasons to be optimistic.

Today I am feeling good.

 

The struggle for the environment is getting good news that motivated me to continue working for a better planet

 

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Gas or electricity?

One of the questions we are frequently asked when designing a new house or rehabilitating an existing one is whether to opt for gas or electricity in the kitchen.

To see what is more economic if electric ceramic and induction hobs, or gas cookers, should be taken into account not only the time and energy saved in gas supply or electricity but also the fixed rates of each supply that must be paid to the company.

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Why should we protect coastal sand dunes? (Part 1)

Without dunes beaches will disappear. It is as simple as that.

 

In Spain the sand dunes have been mistreated during a long time, nevertheless now the Spanish authorities have realized of their importance and are trying to do something to improve them.

 

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Why should we protect coastal sand dunes? (Final Part)

In my last article we analysed the conditions and estate of coastal sand dunes in Spain and discovered that the sand dunes have been mistreated during a long time, nevertheless the Spanish authorities have realized now of their importance and are trying to do something to improve the situation because they have discovered a simple fact; without dunes beaches will disappear.

 

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Can cycling and town planning coexist in Spain?

Spain is a world reference for tourism there is no doubt about that and could become a world reference for cycling tours but at this time is far away from other countries such as Holland. 

 

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They are not only cheap they also help the environment

Yes, I am referring to renewable energy.

 

If the production of renewable was doubled by 2030 it would increase the global GDP and save trillions of dollars on pollution expenses, according to a recent reports by the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA). 

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Net Zero Energy Building. (Part 1)

Well, the experts haven’t yet agreed on how to call these new homes.

You might have seen them announced as Zero Net Energy Building (ZNEB), Net-Zero Energy Building (NZEB), or Net Zero Building. Basically it is the same thing. Well not basically, it is the same thing.

These are homes that hardly consume any non-renewable energy. 

 

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Net Zero Energy Building. (Final Part)

Energy saving…. that is the key.

Energy saving measures, are the most significant questions that these houses solve, reducing the consumption of all kinds of energies, heating, electricity, refrigeration etc. and secondly, by reducing the energy demand from the building itself.

 

There are energy certificates attesting these models of passive house as the Passivhaus or Minergie (Swiss). Another "third way" in this sustainable model also takes into accounts other energy criteria, which incorporates other environmental related concepts such as green building and the application of non-polluting materials.

 

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Why Spain has the most expensive electricity bill in Europe. (Final Part)

The renewable energy 'trap'

 

The truth is that when the boom of renewable began in 2007, the electrical system had accumulated a deficit approaching the 10,000 million Euros, but in later years increased an additional 4,000 to 5,000 million Euros each year.

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Why Spain has the most expensive electricity bill in Europe. (Part 3)

The boom of renewable energy.

 

And after the expansion of combined cycle plants, came the outburst of renewable energy parks, which grew at times uncontrolled by juicy hefty incentives. The problem was not the proliferation of windmills and solar panels, of which we should be proud of, but its high cost. Renewable and cogeneration eventually totalled 9,000 million a year in governmental aids, apart from the money they receive by selling electricity to the market. 

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Why Spain has the most expensive electricity bill in Europe. (Part 2)

On the first part of this article we saw that we pay one of the highest bill on electricity in Europe.

We also analysed how the famous debt of the 30,000 million Euros in favour of the electricity companies was created and why we have a unique system for the electricity industry in the world.

We also discovered that the electric deficit is an example of how the confusion of public and private interests and an apprehensive double set of regulations misguided planning and a failed market can produce some disastrous results. Companies benefited at the expense of widespread over remunerations that has had the effect that now, consumers have to pay extremely expensive electricity which not so long ago had a reasonable price.

 

This article will centre on the history of why we are where we are…paying the most expensive electricity in Europe.

 

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Why Spain has the most expensive electricity bill in Europe. (Part 1)

I am afraid my love for Spanish electricity companies remains at its lowest level. After the new laws on solar cell panels and after increases on our electricity bill of nearly 80% from 2004 to 2014 it is more of a hate relationship.

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Seven reasons to use biomass to heat your home.

 

 

More and more citizens in Europe use biomass as a renewable fuel.

 

This article offers seven environmental and economic reasons to install a heating and hot water system using biomass as a fuel. 

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All you need to know to produce your own electricity at home. (Final part)

Following the thread from my last article I did argued that today more than ever, it is essential the introduction of renewable energy sources so that we alleviate external dependence on energy and with the intention of facilitating access to heating and hot water at low prices, in addition enabling the rehabilitation of buildings with the aid of the administration to encourage energy saving and efficiency. 

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All you need to know to produce your own electricity at home. (Part 1)

How to produce your own electricity

 

On October the 17th, the International Day for the Eradication of Poverty, the Platform for a New Energy Model Spain reported that energy poverty affects 10% of the Spanish population and will continue to increase: more than two million families are not able to turn on the heat simply because they cannot afford it.

 

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Biomass a good profitable energy in homes and public buildings

Biomass, as a renewable energy system is outpacing minority alternative energies.

Its efficiency is being demonstrated as a more reliable and cost-effective heating option. So much so that not only is winning the private households sector, but in recent years several public institutions have decided to integrate it into their buildings.

 

Every kW produced by diesel costs almost twice that of biomass.

 

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Why we pay in Spain one of the most expensive electricity in Europe?

Between 2008 and 2014 the electricity bill rose 52% in Spain, well above the European average, which has the fourth most expensive electricity bills in the EU, behind Denmark, Germany and Ireland. 

 

What are the reasons?

The intervention of various governments with renewable energy grants and taxes hinder the electrical industry and determine the electric bill to rise.

 

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Houses best preferred by the Europeans.

I am not a passionate reader of opinion polls but in this case I have made an exception. Is not only because this particular poll has provided very valuable information for me as an architect but also because I always like to analyse factors like cost, location, size, sources to find a property etc that do influence the other Europeans citizens when they decide to build or buy a new house here in Spain.


A representative study named “Looking for and finding properties in Europe” by RE/MAX Europe, conducted in 16 European countries, reveals that the Internet is clearly the medium of choice in the search for real estate.

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Prefabricated houses: advantages and disadvantages (Final Part)

In my last article I did make a long list of the advantages of prefab houses, well now is the time to see the other side of the coin so that you can make a balance decision in case you want to proceed forward and build yourself one.

 

You can read here, the previous post:

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A decent night sleep. A practical guide to noise insulation (Part 1). 

Sound insulation

Yes, Spain is sunny, people are friendly (sometimes), food is fine, (if know where to eat), but I have to admit it, we are noisy, very noisy.


Yes, Spain is sunny, people are friendly (sometimes) food is fine, (if know where to eat), but I have to admit it, we are noisy, very noisy.


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A decent night sleep. A practical guide to noise insulation (Part 2). 

We continue from last article where we explained the serious problem of noise in Spain in almost on all ambits of life. This week we propose to concentrate on the practical side of noise insulation.


We continue from last week article where we explained the serious problem of noise in Spain in almost on all ambits of life. This week we propose to concentrate on the practical side of noise insulation.

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A decent night sleep. A practical guide to noise insulation (Final part). 

Noise Insulation
Noise Insulation

There is a before and after regarding sound insulation in Spain and the date was September of 2009. Any building which building licence was obtained after that date must comply with very strict rules on sound insulation.


The “Código Técnico de la Edificación” the counterpart of the British Building Regulation states that the protection against noise generated in the same unit of use i.e. adjacent rooms in the same home unit:The global index of noise reduction, in, Ra, shall be for partition walls not less than 33 dBA for airborne noise, DnTA., 


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New law on solar panels cells, how does it affect us? (Part 1) 

What the new decree says on electric energy consumption. 

This new law reduces the chances of consumers at home to produce their own electricity from a renewable sources. The Government has finally approved the decree law regulating the consumption of electricity in Spain. Any consumer who wants to produce their own electricity at home with a solar panel must be aware of it. Several specialists have confirmed what they had forecast and pointed exactly to the stagnation of the renewable energy sector in this country. 

 

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New law on solar panels cells (Final Part) 

Although this is a continuation from last article on this theme let me just do a small recapitulation on this subject matter.

 

A new law has been approved by the Spanish Government that reduces the chances of any consumers at home to produce their own electricity from a renewable source.

 

Any consumer who wants to produce their own electricity at home with a solar panel should be aware of it.

 

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Less solar panels and more thermal insulation

We all have a guru or person who we admire. In my case is the Swiss economist Mr. Massimo Filippini. This professor has done a lot of research on energy consumption in Switzerland and other part of the world. he has carried out innumerable studies with regards to energy consumption. He has been during decades analyzing key economic efficiency of health systems, transport and energy for several countries in Europe. Massimo Filippini (born in Lugano, Switzerland, 1963), is a professor at the Federal Institute of Technology Zurich, the European counterpart to MIT in Boston, and arrived at Galicia to participate in the Atlantic Workshop on Energy and Environmental Economics, a workshop that brings together a selected reduced group of European scientists at Toja every two years to discuss their researches. 

 

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How to avoid paying for a fraudulent Energy Certificate  (Final Part)

As we mentioned last week, Energy Certificates are raising many doubts among consumers, and some scams have been reported.

 

This article is a follow up from last week´s and try to explains how much can cost an energy certificate for buildings, lists the possible fraud, pointing to what should be included and provides the keys to improve the energy efficiency of a building.

  

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Net-Zero Energy Buildings (Part 1)

Yes I must confess that I am obsessed this "Net-Zero Energy Buildings". And I know that I have written articles on this subject before but I am worry, very worry, because I just have no idea on how on earth we architects are suppose to design building with zero renewable energy consumption buildings by the year 2020. Yes you read correctly, buildings that should not use any none renewable energy in six years time. Just round the corner.

 

We all know that our cities consume enormous quantities of energy, with the heating and cooling of buildings accounting for more than 41% of total demand in Europe alone. This means buildings have a dramatic negative global environmental impact, which is unsustainable, given the world’s predominant reliance on fossil fuels and their rapidly increasing costs. We accept that, but legislating in the limbo and not providing sufficient knowledge to us architects on how we are suppose to carry out is a bit risky to say the least.

 

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Net-Zero Energy Buildings (Part 2)

Last week we broadly explained what a zero-energy home was, but just to remind you, let me explain that the basic objective of a conventional property developer now days is to build a home with the possible lower construction costs, that current regulation allows.

 

In this way, the consumption of more or less energy throughout its useful life is something secondary, which in any case that expenditure will fall on the user.

 

However, in a zero-energy housing the main concern is with the user spending the minimum possible energy and that this energy comes from a renewable sources of the building itself.

 

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Net-Zero Energy Buildings (Final Part)

On last articles we generally explained what a zero-energy home was, but just to remind that these new buildings will come into force in Spain in the year 2020 and in UK in 2016.

 

Today 13th of March of 2014 here in Spain, as I am writing this article, it comes into force a new regulation for energy savings in buildings which greatly increases the specifications for newly design buildings and brings closer the concept of zero-energy buildings.

 

Where on earth are these buildings being built now days? 

 

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Heating your home this winter without going bust | Part 1

Only a couple of weeks ago I was writing articles on how to keep cool a Spanish home and all of the sudden the "Gota fria" is here. We are having torrential rain all along the Coast, a well known prelude for the cold winter to appear.

 

We are already in autumn, and temperatures will come down dramatically without notice in much of the country during the day and at night. But in this sixth year of crisis, with rising prices of key households' supplies this autumn and winter will be extra tough for most pensioners and many other people.

 

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Heating your home this winter without going bust | Final Part

As I mentioned last week in Part 1 of these two articles we are already in autumn, and temperatures will come down dramatically in much of the country during the day and at night. In this sixth year of crisis, with rising prices of key households' supplies this autumn and winter will be extra tough for most pensioners and many other people. So here are a few more tips following last week articles to avoid cold temperatures to penetrate our dwellings and, at the same time, saving lot of money on heating.

 

A lot of the very expensive energy we pay for goes down the drain through the cracks and gaps around bad window and door joinery.

 

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Nearly zero energy buildings

I am sure that you would guess without difficulty what the biggest worry is for Spanish architects at the moment. The shortage of work!! That has been the main problem for the profession for the last six years or so. But I would bet a cup of coffee with anyone that would not guess the second!!

 

Nearly zero-energy buildings (NZEB). 

Yes, how to design NZEB. According to the Directive 2010/31UE of 19 May 2010 on the energy performance of buildings (EPBD directive), defines in its article 2 "the buildings of nearly zero energy consumption" (Nearly Zero Energy Building, NZEB) as those "with a very high level of energy efficiency, to be determined in accordance with Annex I".

  

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The end of incandescent light bulbs | Part 1

The most wasteful and polluting bulbs are removed progressively until 2016. As of September the 1st, the classic incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured or imported into the European Union (EU). And will not be the only ones. Its manufacturing will continue until September 2016 with the phasing out of the other models which waste more energy to be substituted by more efficient models.

 

The Community institutions responsible for this measure, intends to reduce high energy consumption for lighting and  its environmental impact, and incidentally save up to 10,000 million Euros per year, up to 50 Euros per household.

 

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The end of incandescent light bulbs | Final part

Last week we were looking at the progressive phasing out of incandescent light bulbs.

 

The most wasteful and polluting bulbs are removed progressively until 2016.

 

As of September the 1st, the classic incandescent bulbs will no longer be manufactured or imported into the European Union (EU). And will not be the only ones. Its manufacturing will continue until September 2016 with the phasing out of the other models which waste more energy to be substituted by more efficient models.

 

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How the greenhouse effect will influence Spain | Part 1

Autumn is the time for the "gota fría" in this part of Spain and normally we can observe torrential rain inundating cities the length of the Spanish geography and some are people claiming that is getting worse.

 

Since the last glaciations, the fascinating figure of 52 million cubic kilometres of water were redistributed by the planet, ice sheets melted and previously depleted global sea levels increased more than 130 m thus compensating the weight of the enormous masses of solid water distribution. The rebound effect today continues and accelerates alarmingly.

 

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Should owners of empty homes cut off their water and electricity supplies? (Part 1)

I am asking this question because this is the fourth rise on the electricity bill during the last couple of years; water bills are also taking the same trend. They have risen around 50%, plus similar increases in gas, phone and other taxes. So the controversy, to cut or not to cut home supplies have reawaken, especially among those with empty houses in rent, holidays homes, inherited residences that remain uninhabited most of the year etc. Most Expats wonder why, taxes (such as IBI), municipal taxes and others fixed payments, communal charges etc, have to pay monthly fees if services are never use, instead of paying when used.

 

I will detail how much it costs to maintain an empty home and if it is cost-effective to terminate the supplies and hire them again when needed.

 

Empty house = high expenses.

 

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Should owners of empty homes cut off their water and electricity supplies? (Part 2)

Last week we were looking at the dilemma of cutting off the companies' services of our empty property or of a property that it is only occupied for a short period every year.

 

Is it worth it or is it better to just pay the minimum bills and keep connected?

We came to the conclusion that that when you have an uninhabited house, to unsubscribe from all services and supplies because if services are kept connected, minimum consumption charges must be paid to the supply companies. So, having an empty property means to confront with minimum domestic bills which now days they are not so minimum.


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Should owners of empty homes cut off their water and electricity supplies? (Final part)

In these last two weeks we were looking at the dilemma of cutting off the companies' services of our empty property or of a property that it is only occupied for a short period of the year.

 

Is it worth it or is it better to just pay the minimum bills and keep the house connected?

 

The annual price of just keeping supplies connected could be as much 450€ per year.

 

To cut off supplies involves a series of steps concerning an expenditure of time and money. While, keeping the minimum cost of all basic supplies connected in an empty house can amount to about 450 Euros a year.

 

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Do I need an Energy Certificate to sell or let my property | Part 1

The answer is yes and no. Any new buildings and those which have being rehabilitated from 2007 are forced to pass an energy certification exam and be provided with an energy certificate label. On January 1st of this year, the law should had been passed for existing buildings but.....the Spanish Congress must be too busy with other problems and although everyone I have talked to, including the Official College of Architect of both Murcia and Valencia, they all say that it is eminent the publication of the law for existing buildings but as yet, it still it has not been published.


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Do I need an Energy Certificate to sell or let my property | Final part

Last week we informed about the new imposition on owners and landlords to obtain an Energy Certificate which any building must display this sort of label indicating its energy expenditure similar to electric appliances.

This law requires from year 2007 that new homes carry a label, similar to that of appliances where its energy consumption is reported.

 

Very soon, this certificate shall also apply to second hand properties. The owners must obtain an Energy Certificate of their properties to be offered to buyers and tenants.

 

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How to reduce your Spanish electricity bill... easily | Part 1

 

A friend of mine was commenting on the electricity "factura" and the huge increase in cost that he has had over the last couple of years. I did ask him if he had any increase on the consumption, but he affirmed that he was using the same amount of power as previous years.

 

It is a well known fact that the electric energy bill has risen about 60% since 2007 for the vast majority of consumers in Spain. One of the elements that explain this rise is that the fixed concept for the contracted power within the electricity bill. This measure assured negative consequences to the pocket of the consumer and the environment. In addition to the negative impact on the personal economy, the environment also suffers. It is a kind of quasi flat fee, where two-thirds of the bill are fixed, and only one, variable. 

 

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How to reduce your spanish electricity bill... easily | Final part

On the previous article on "How to reduce your Spanish electricity bill...easily".  We mentioned that that the electric energy bill has risen about 60% since 2007 for the vast majority of consumers in Spain. One of the elements that explain this rise is that the fixed concept for the contracted power within the electricity bill. This measure assured negative consequences to the pocket of the consumer and the environment. In addition to the negative impact on the personal economy, the environment also suffers. It is a kind of quasi flat fee, where two-thirds of the bill are fixed, and only one, variable.

 

So we embarked on providing some tips on how to make adjustments to our electricity tariff to obtain substantial savings.

 

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Seven ways to get solar power | Part 1

I have mentioned it before, but for those of you who haven´t read the previous articles here on CBN (shame on you) "All buildings designed from 2013 would require reducing its energy consumption greatly" Apart from that "All buildings built from 2020 must consume very near to 0 energy from a none renewable source" i.e electricity from a company, gas or gasoil.

 

These new Spanish Building Regulations are known the EH1 and the EH0 and relate ecclusively to energy saving in buildings. The EH1limits the total amount of energy that our new and future buildings must use.


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Seven ways to get solar power (Final part)

As mentioned on my last article the new Spanish Building Regulations known as the EH1 and the EH0 relate to energy saving in buildings. The EH1limits the total amount of energy that our new and future buildings must use. It divides Spain in different zones allowing those in colder regions such as the central north regions to use more energy for heating or cooling the buildings. 

 

It goes from 15Kw/m2 per year in warm regions like Valencia Murcia etc to 40 Kw/m2 in colder zones. On the other hand the H0 limits the consumption of energy of our buildings in a similar fashion. When I say that all buildings built from year 2020 must consume nearly 0 energy.

  

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10 tips to cool your home without air conditioning | Part 1

We could cool down our homes very efficiently applying simple techniques carried out by our Spanish ancestors much before air conditioning was invented.

 

Simple procedures such as creating natural air currents, hydrating ourselves or resorting to awnings and fans can drastically reduce the heat inside a home without having to resort to switch on an air conditioning unit.

 

When the thermometer reaches temperatures in summer exceeding 35 ° C, it is difficult to resist switching on the air conditioning. However, not everyone can or wants to have a device at home that cools the atmosphere using lots of energy.

  

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10 tips to cool your home without air conditioning | Final Part

Last week we were looking at different ways to cool down our homes using methods, hundreds, possibly thousands of years old and we examined the first five. They were very efficient and cheap methods to cool down any building, which could save you a lot of money and also prevent a lot CO2 to be spilled into the environment. We will quickly mention them so here you have a complete guide:

 

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Led lighting. Now a must!!

I have written a few articles in the past on led lighting, explaining the benefits of LED lighting and suggesting that we should be changing to this type of lighting, specially due to the large saving on energy and therefore in the electricity bill.

 

Since those articles the prices of LED bulbs have been reduced drastically so now there are no excuses not to change over to LED.

 

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Cut the electric wires off!!

With the continuous changes in electricity tariffs (always against our pockets), many people are starting to look at that yellow ball up in the sky and mulling over if it could help in some way with our invoices. Do I unplug from the mains and produce my own energy with photovoltaic panels? Is the photovoltaic profitable? If only, to give a kick in the ass to my electric provider.

 

Let's start from the beginning.

 

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Tips to improve your Energy Efficiency Certificate (EPC) (Part 1)

 

Recent housing energy efficiency certificate uses a rating scale, ranging from "A" (the buildings more efficient) to "G" (less efficient). A house with the best rating possible tend to benefit the environment and the economy of their tenants or user. This article offers several tips for consumers to improve their homes to obtain the best possible energy rating.

 

More than 60% of the Spanish buildings have been built assuming a low standard of energy efficiency up to 2007. If this data is focused from a positive point of view, there is much room for improvement in the Spanish buildings park.

 

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Tips to improve your Energy Efficiecy Certificate (EPC) (Final Part)

Last week we were explaining the objectives of the EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) as they are known in the UK or "Certificado de Eficiencia Energética" as they are known here in Spain.

 

It uses a rating scale, ranging from "A" (the buildings more efficient) to "G" (less efficient). A house with the best rating possible tend to benefit the environment and the economy of their tenants or user. This article offers several tips for consumers to improve their homes to obtain the best possible energy rating.

 

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How to avoid paying for a fradulent Energy Certificate | Part 1

New energy efficiency certificates for buildings, similar to that shown on appliances, are compulsory for sellers and landlords from June the 1st of this year if they are intending selling or letting a property.


These certificates are raising many doubts among consumers, and many frauds have already been reported. In this article I will try to provide you with some tips on how to stand clear from a possible scam.


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A manifesto against poverty

As practising architects not only we have to be attentive to new legislation coming out practically every week  but also to new tendencies in architecture and of course to the necessities of people that may be less fortunate than ourselves.

In this occasion I am refereeing to the information coming out of the latest Chicago Architecture Biennial.

 

The Chicago Architecture Biennale has exhibited a groundbreaking prototype of housing for the poorest.

 

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How my grandmother used to cool her home down... (without air conditioning)

I remember that in mid of August I didn't want to play in my grandmother's garden as in other times of the year but rather be inside reading, drawing, or playing some table games with friends. Mind you it isn't that I was not an active child, but the heat was too much to tolerate to play football, hide and seek or just climb trees.


I still have in the back of my retina a home in a near penumbra, cool enough so as not to perspire with the minimum effort or movement.


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Saving energy at home using the new apps

It is impossible to browse through Google without sooner or later being offered a free application for your smart phone or for your PC and since we all are experts in apps, ok nearly all, I thought it would be opportune and pertinent to describe here what the market is offering these days on "home automation" to save energy.

This must be a mistake!!

 

I have selected the energy saving factor because, Iberdrola, Endesa, Unión Fenosa and other electrical companies are rubbing their hands while issuing their invoices for the summer months I am sure you will repeat again and again the same as I do... This must be a mistake!!

 

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Machines save more water and money than you

I am about to prove to the court that from the view of saving money and resources, dishwashers will reduce your water bill and save time and dish washing detergent. According to the Spanish Ministry of the Environment, if you wash up under running water, tens of litres will gush out of your taps and down the drain to overwork the local treatment plant, yet simply by plugging the sink or using a modest bucket you’ll reduce water by 50%.

 

Machines at work!!.

 

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The Tesla battery: the final solution for a greener home? (Part 1)

No, is not a bird, it's not a plane, it's a battery!! Mind you is not just any battery.

 

According to recent statements by Jeff Evanson, one of the heads of Tesla, it will not only be a battery, but two. On the one hand, a battery focused for domestic use and the other one of higher storage capacity, scalable, and apparently would be more focused to the industry. Not only that: it seems that the first of them (the domestic battery) could also be rented in order to make it more affordable.

 

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The Tesla battery: the final solution for a greener home? (Part 2)

As a continuation of last week's article where we were analysing ways to "cut the wires off" from the main electrical companies, we discovered that the main problem is the storage of the energy produced by solar panels, being this the main predicament in a sunny country such as Spain.

 

We also came to the conclusion that the main problem is the low capacity of the standards batteries available in the market. As the capacities of storage for most current batteries are about 3 days.

 

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The Tesla battery: the final solution for a greener home? (Final Part)

Ok. We have analyzed all the benefits of this new battery in the last two previous articles but are they going to be marketed in Spain?

 

A long road ahead.

According to Forbes reports, the US government is making serious efforts in the production of renewable energy and Tesla battery fit perfectly.

 

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How my grandmother used to cool her home down... (without air conditioning)

I remember that in mid of August I didn't want to play in my grandmother's garden as in other times of the year but rather be inside reading, drawing, or playing some table games with friends. Mind you it isn't that I was not an active child, but the heat was too much to tolerate to play football, hide and seek or just climb trees.

 

I still have in the back of my retina a home in a near penumbra, cool enough so as not to perspire with the minimum effort or movement.

 

Now looking back, I am amazed how wise she was to bring down the exterior temperature by as much as 12ºC within the home just by being methodical and by putting into practise a few tips.

 

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Saving energy at home using the new apps

It is impossible to browse through Google without sooner or later being offered a free application for your smart phone or for your PC and since we all are experts in apps, ok nearly all, I thought it would be opportune and pertinent to describe here what the market is offering these days on "home automation" to save energy.

 

This must be a mistake!!

  

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Valuable tips for a greener home | Part 1

Yesterday, the electricity was cut off by the electrical company about five times at our offices. It was around 5.00pm temperature outside was approximately 40ºC-104º Fahrenheit.

 

Yes, everyone was having the air con at full blast; it was that, o having drops of sweat poring over the paperwork. After restarting the pc's five times we all thought of switching off any irrelevant machinery (except the air con) and we switched off two printers, the plotter and shut off the air vent of two rooms where there were no one at the time.

 

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Can I have wind energy at home?

If the wind is free, why not use it to produce our own energy at home? Mini wind technology is available and Spain has leading companies doing just that worldwide. Although there is an estimated 10,000 small wind facilities in Spain, its use is not as wide as it could be. Unlike the United States, United Kingdom and Germany, the legal regulation in Spain hampers using mini wind turbines in domestic environments.

 

This article clarifies whether it is possible to harness wind energy at home, explain why mini windmills have not taken off in this country and give details about the main Spanish companies providing mini wind power.


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Valuable tips for a greener home (Final Part).

Last week we were looking at different actions that citizens could put into practices in their homes to become more sustainable and save money.

 

As you all now the most economical and greenest energy is that which we don´t use so here are a few tips on how we can save lots of energy and natural resources in easy steps.


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How to choose the best LED lights | Part 1

A couple of weeks ago we were talking about "The end of incandescent light bulbs" so we should take a look at what is available in the market at the moment and belief me if you do not require a specialize type of bulb for a professional task such as shop windows, show business lighting etc. don't waste your time looking around for any other type of lighting than LED. At this particular time any new installation or replacing any bulbs at home, you must surely choose LED.

 

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How to choose the best LED lights (Final Part).

 

A few weeks ago we were talking about "The end of incandescent light bulbs" so we should take a look at what is available in the market at the moment and belief me if you do not require a specialize type of bulb for a professional task such as shop windows, show business lighting etc. don't waste your time looking around for any other type of lighting than LED.


At this particular time any new installation or replacing any bulbs at home, you must surely choose LED. 

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