Reduce Energy Usage

This is a case where you, as individuals, can really make a difference.

Here’s a list of things you can do:

Switch off lights you’re not actually using.

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eg Bathroom? Bedrooms? Utility space? Back room? The price of leaving a bulb on varies a lot, but if you say it is as little as a penny an hour, that could easily be £10 over the course of a year. But also that’s burning fossil fuels at power stations and that’s sending CO2 into the atmosphere – for ever. And it’s SO easy!

Use LED lights (or low-energy lights)

Again, you could easily save £10 over the length of a year, maybe more. And again, you’re burning less coal and oil at the power stations.

Turn your heating down by one degree C.

Very often, people won’t notice if they turn the heating down a little bit, especially if they wear an extra layer of clothes. If you can, you’d be really surprised at how much money (and CO2) you save. (But be very careful about turning heating down if you’re elderly or vulnerable!)

….and don’t forget to turn down your radiators a little…

Just a notch or two…

Have you been able to use these ideas? Tell us about it!

Use microwave oven more often

Cook by microwave rather than conventional oven/hob at every chance – it really is much more economical – and quick. If you’re not used to it, get a microwave cookery book – ££value for money.

Here’s a good tip: make enough shepherds pie / cottage pie for two dinners, put one in the freezer, then re-heat the second at a later date. You cook two dinners for the energy cost of one (saves £££, saves CO2) and you’ve got a spare dinner in the freezer that you can heat up really quickly in the microwave at a moment’s notice. Lovely!

Have you found any really good microwave cook books? Have you got any really good microwave dishes? Tell us !

Install high-efficiency insulation

There are two main types of insulation you are likely to benefit from:

a) Cavity wall insulation (injecting insulation into the space between the two layers of bricks your outside walls are built from

and b) loft insulation.

If you don’t have both of these, or if your loft insulation is really old or thin, then do get it checked professionally.

You may also benefit from double-glazing, but this can – it depends on the windows – take a really long time to recover your £££ cash outlay.

Replace low-efficiency boilers

There is lots of good advice on replacing your boiler at the Energy Saving Trust

Do you have any helpful experience we can pass on?……. Can you recommend good local installers?…….

Use “A”-rated (or better) electrical appliances

the top rating is A+++

Look for this label – pick the machine with the greenest A+++ rating

Watch this space – we’ll publish lots of info about:-

  • Fridges
  • Freezers
  • Washing Machines
  • Dishwashers
  • Tumble Dryers
  • Microwaves

….. if you’re about to buy a new one, check how energy-efficient it is. You could save £££s over the life of the machine, and save lots of carbon emissions.

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