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Sunday 27.05.2018 | Name days: Loreta, Dzidra, Gunita, Dzidris
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Expert: insulating Soviet time buildings could save 50% of heat costs

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By insulating attics and changing or improving the window glazing in Soviet time buildings up to 50% of heating costs could be economized, the Latvian-decent energy-efficiency consultant Andrejs Ritums indicates in an interview to the business portal Nozare.lv.

We should focus on cost-efficiency to get the highest return on savings. So, firstly, it is necessary to improve the windows. Secondly – insulate attics, which can be done by blowing rock wool, says Ritums, who has been running his own business in Stockholm Ritums Energy Consulting since the mid-90s. He has often visited Latvia and advised local businesses and organizations.

Latvia has everything necessary and the working methods are described in manufacturers’ catalogues, similarly as in Sweden. In Latvia, it is recommended to use insulation materials manufactured in Sweden or Finland, where the climate is similar, Ritums considers.

The expert explains that the greatest heat losses occur through windows. The most significant heat loss in buildings usually comes from windows, and are ten times larger than those through walls. If I am asked how to save heat in the buildings in Latvia, I would first look at the windows, search for ways of packing them tight or putting additional glass. Every glazier knows how to do this, Ritums points out.

However, Stockholm-based expert could not exactly state the window and glazing costs in Latvia, but concedes that reasonably carried out works that reduce heat loss through windows would pay over time, especially if the heating costs continue to rise.

In Sweden a new triple-glass window with energy glass costs around 4 000 kronor (LVL 317.60) per square meter. But not the entire window has to be changed. It is possible to find a glazier to replace or supplement the usual glass with energy glass. It would comprise one-third of the mentioned price (LVL 100), specifies Ritums.

Energy glass is treated with a special coating that reduces heat emission through the window. It is useful to look for the company Pilkington low-emission windows. They are specially coated to prevent heat loss. Similar glass is produced by other European producers, says Ritums.

Putting the third glass reduces heat loss by about one third. If energy glass is utilized it reduces losses by half, or by 50%. This, of course, is a more expensive solution, the expert indicates.

Ritums says that Latvian house managers try to implement energy-saving measures, but run into funding difficulties.

I know that this was done in several places. There are dozens of projects. I have heard about such projects in Cesis, Jelgava, Liepaja, and other places in Latvia. But these are pilot projects that have received the European Union funds. These saving measures have not been introduced on a larger-scale. This is because it is difficult to convince the house owners about the financing. People have difficulties to understand that benefits of the invested funds will pay off only after five or seven years, Ritums asserts.


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