Reducing the amount of energy that you use and the size of your carbon footprint is becoming increasingly important. Most of the energy we all use on a daily basis is generated by fossil fuel burning, including electricity.
And this comes with a high price. At the current rate of energy consumption, we are facing rapid climate change. It is all over the news and is hard to ignore when we are constantly bombarded with footage of rising sea levels, retreating glaciers, more frequent extreme weather events, ocean acidification, dramatic changes in precipitation patterns and amounts, and mass species extinctions. The good news, if you can believe there is any after that, is that we can all help make a difference and do our bit to help reverse climate change today by saving energy.
You can lose a quarter of your home’s heat through an uninsulated roof. Thoroughly insulating your home can save you around 15% on your fuel bills, so you could be saving an average of £98 a year. There are now government-backed full and partial grants available to help you pay for insulation if your home has cavity walls. Even if you don’t receive money from the government insulation is still worth it in the long run.
Double or Triple Glazing
The most significant contributor to heat loss is conduction through the walls, floor, roof, doors and windows. If you look at a heat photograph of a house, you’ll quickly see that by far the biggest red spots are the roof and the windows. Convection also contributes to heat loss – that is, cold air entering the house through gaps and circulating within – but by far the biggest problem is conduction through the roof and windows. Double glazing works in a similar way to cavity wall and loft insulation and is one of the most effective ways to reduce heat loss and keep the bills down.
Low Energy Light Bulbs
Buy energy-efficient compact fluorescent bulbs for your most-used lights. Although they cost more initially, they save money in the long run by only using ¼ of the energy of an ordinary incandescent bulb and lasting 8-12 times longer. They provide and equivalent amount of bright, attractive light. Only 10% of the energy consumed by a normal light bulb generates light. The rest just makes the bulb hot.
Turn Your Refrigerator Down
Refrigerators account for about 20% of household electricity use. Use a thermometer to set your refrigerator temperature as close to 37 degrees and your freezer as close to 3 degrees as possible. Make sure that its energy switch is turned on. Also, check the gaskets around your refrigerator/freezer doors to make sure they are clean and sealed tightly.
Also, keeping your fridge and freezer full helps you save energy. When you open your fridge, cold air escapes and warm air comes in. By keeping your fridge full, there’s less air space and less cold air to be exchanged with the warm air from your kitchen. Adding a couple of jugs of water to the fridge is an easy way to take up a whole lot of space in your fridge. Therefore, your fridge doesn’t have to work as hard and you save energy.
Make Use of Off-peak Electricity
UK power demand typically peaks in the early evening on cold winter weekdays, as people return home from work. Wholesale electricity is most expensive at these times, and cheaper by night when the demand is lower. Put your dishwasher on, start your washing machine, take a shower, do all of these things later in the evening to save on your monthly energy bill.
Block Your Chimney
Ever noticed how a fireplace really adds character to a room? They can be beautiful focal points but did you know, an unblocked chimney can mean money up the chimney – hundreds of pounds each year to be exact. Nobody wants that, no matter how lovely their fireplace is! You can cap your chimney or, if you use it occasionally, block the draught with an inflatable chimney balloon.
Get Shower Savvy
Modern high-power showers can use as much water in five minutes as it takes to fill a bath. Keep your shower on a lower setting so as to conserve water. If you aren’t that controlled, try buying an energy-efficient shower head or faucet aerator which can reduce the amount of water that is delivered from taps and shower heads. You can save on your water bill and on the energy required to heat your water.
There are masses of ways to save on your energy bills, you can ever get creative with it! One suggestion online was trying to persuade readers to fill a clean bin liner with their washing, some water and soap before driving with it in the back of the car, draining the water at the other end and hanging it out to dry…I don’t know that I would go that far but there are definitely numerous ways to save energy and we are keen to hear some of yours, so feel free to leave a comment below!