Posted by Tim Gale
On 27 July our Club was privileged to hear a presentation by Tim Forcey, a chemical engineer who had worked for multi-national corporations but more recently has been involved in renewable energy research. His topic was the timely issue of “How to reduce your energy bills and stay warm”.
As well as covering the well-known factors of reducing drafts from doors and windows, appropriate window coverage, occluding the old-fashioned wall vents in the sub-ceiling area (these are now redundant unless we are still relying on solid fuel or gas-fired flame generating heating), and also where possible maximizing appropriate ceiling, wall and sub floor insulation.
His main thesis is there is significant evidence that reverse cycle air conditioning can be up to a third cheaper as an air heating source than the common gas-fired ducted heating systems (which of course also utilize electricity to power the air circulating fans!). Can also be used as a heat pump to heat water. Solar panels to generate electricity adds to the economic efficiency. He made the point that he is a bit pessimistic about a meaningful reduction in the  capital cost of domestic battery storage in the medium term as he believes resources, namely raw materials and manufacturing capacity, will be focused on producing electric motor vehicle batteries and also commercial battery storage.
For further information he co-administers a Facebook group “My Efficient Electric home”, and has a consulting service via a website <>