Energy Saving Ideas

ENERGY SAVING

Our national emissions remain well above the world average, although not dissimilar from much of Europe. Although they have fallen in recent years, this has largely been as a result of a rapid change from coal to gas for electricity generation. We could, and should, do a lot more to reduce our energy use and encourage the development of truly renewable resources - only 4.6% of our generated electricity comes from renewable energy (Source: BERR).

 Did you know that:

  • We use around 155 litres of water each day on average.
  • Taking showers, not baths, saves enough water each week for 1000 cups of tea (Source: DETR).
  • The average duel fuel bill now stands at £912 a year - about a third more than an energy efficient home (Source : uSwitch).
  • Through energy use the average home emits more harmful CO2 gas than the average car (Source: ETSU).
  • 4.6% of the UK carbon emissions come from computers.
  • 18% of the greenhouse gases that our world puts into the atmosphere, causing global warming, are emitted by 1.7billion cows.

Draughts make you uncomfortable and lose you money so it's worth buying the essential materials to draught proof windows and doors - you only need plastic foam strips or rubber seals. Carpet trimmings also make great draught excluders: roll them up into a sausage shape and tie with coloured ribbon.

Lagging your hot water tank and pipes is also an effective way of saving energy. The Department of the Environment recommends that you fit a tank jacket that conforms to British Standard BS5615. Insulating pipe work in unheated places (e.g. in the loft or under the floorboards) means that the pipes are less likely to burst in the winter, as well as saving you money.

  • A lot of new appliances now carry energy ratings. Compare the cost of running each appliance before you buy.
  • Avoid tumble dryers if possible because they use a lot of electricity. Use an airer or clothes line instead.
  • Use energy saving light bulbs and/or change 100W for 60W where appropriate - a 40% saving already!
  • Turn your heating and water down a notch if possible. Put another jumper on if you're cold. If you have a timer on your central heating, in the winter set it for just before you get up.
  • It's worth checking the circulating pump as it uses more electricity when running too fast and doesn't work effectively if it's too slow. Your regular service may include this check, or you should ask a heating engineer to carry it out for you.
  • Changing your boiler may seem like going to extreme lengths to save energy, but changing from an old boiler to a modern system (an energy efficient gas condensing boiler) can save up to 20 to 30% on your bills.
  • It may be worth turning the boiler off during the summer and using an immersion heater (and cheap rate electricity) to heat water. Set your thermostat at 60°C/140°F or less - this should heat water adequately.
  • Try having your heating on constantly at a low temperature instead of on a timer coming on twice a day because in some houses with a condensation problem it may be cheaper and more efficient.
  • It's so difficult to know just how much you save by following all these energy saving tips, so why not take a note of your meter reading at the start of each month and as you change your habits notice how the reading goes down!
  • You can save a lot of money by insulating your loft if you own a house, or can persuade your landlord to buy the insulating material. It isn't too hard to do, but do take care not to stand on unboarded areas and do wear a facemask.
  • A dimmer switch prolongs the life of standard bulbs and cuts the cost of electricity by up to 75%.
  • Fluorescent tubes last 10 times longer than 100-watt bulbs and cost half as much to run.
  • Just an average of 1°C increase adds 8% to an average heating bill.
  • Block off any fireplaces not in use to save heat loss.
  • We use around 155 litres of water each day on average
  • Take showers, not baths and save enough water each week for1000 cups of tea. (Source: DETR)
  • The average duel fuel bill now stands at £912 a year - about a third more than an energy efficient home. (Source : uSwitch)
  • Through energy use the average home emits more harmful CO2 gas than the average car. (Source: ETSU)
  • 4.6% of the UK carbon emissions come from computers.
  • 18% of the greenhouse gases that our world puts into the atmosphere, causing global warming, are emitted by 1.7billion cows.

Many of the most energy-saving tips are the most obvious.

For example:

  • Heat only the rooms that you use.
  • Don't overfill a kettle.
  • Always cook in the smallest possible pan on the smallest suitable ring at the lowest convenient temperature.
  • Close outside doors and freezer doors quickly.
  • Take a shower instead of a bath (a fifth of the water is used!).
  • Turn off the TV and read a book instead or do all those things you say you've never got time to do!
  • Defrosting a freezer twice a year means 10% less on running costs.
  • An electric fire gives out more heat if the reflector at the back is shiny clean. Try putting silver foil behind a radiator to stop heat being absorbed by walls - it should save 15% on heating bills. A shelf over a radiator will ensure that more heat is reflected into the middle of the room rather than up.

You may be eligible for a grant to carry out energy saving improvements. Visit the Warm Front Team web site: www.warmfront.co.uk


 


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This article is written in good faith. Martin Roberts nor Making Money From Property cannot guarantee the accuracy of the content and cannot be held responsible for any losses (directly or indirectly) resulting from using the information given.

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