Energy Saving Tips

Radiator adjustment closeup. Man's hand adjusting radiator temClimate change is one of the most important issues involving our generation. There is strong evidence that all human beings are contributing to climate change. We must all take action to help reduce carbon emissions and tackle other environmental problems.

We have listed below several ideas that can be easily implemented to reduce our carbon footprints, and committing to just one will contribute to reducing CO2 emissions:

  1. Switch to online billing to reduce paper consumption. By using electronic communications (e-mail, e-statements, direct debit, online billing), together we can save the rain forests and money that would otherwise be spent on stationary.
  2. Always switch off the lights when you leave a room.
  3. Switch to energy saving light bulbs (CFLs) which can last up to 15 times longer and save 80% of the electricity required for a conventional light bulb
  4. Turning down the thermostat by 1˚ could reduce carbon emissions and save up to 10% on your heating bills.
  5. Boiler maintenance. Make sure your boiler is regularly checked and maintained properly, this could save you as much as 10% on your heating bills. 
  6. Improve your insulation.  Half the heat lost in your home escapes through the windows, walls and roof. Insulating can be done quickly and cheaply and makes a huge difference by reducing your fuel bills and carbon footprint.
  7. Look for the labels when buying products that use energy and water. The Energy Saving Recommended logo is only used on the most energy efficient products, on a scale of A (best) to G (worst) and provides information on water use. Always choose more efficient models.
  8. Remove lime scale from your appliances. Lime scale makes appliances less efficient, requiring more energy to heat water. Simply leave some vinegar in your kettle overnight and add a glass of vinegar to an empty washing machine at a 60˚ cycle, every couple of months, to maintain your appliances in an environmentally friendly way.
  9. Install water efficient products i.e. low flushing volume toilets, water efficient shower heads and aerating heads on washbasin taps to significantly reduce your water waste. Also repair any dripping taps which can waste up to 15 litres of water a day.
  10. Take a shower instead of taking a bath. And spending one minute less in the shower would reduce your water consumption and energy bills too.
  11. Switch off your electrical appliances. Leaving your TV, PC and other appliances on standby can use almost as much electricity as if they were in use. Always unplug all appliances when not in use including your mobile, ipod chargers.
  12. Load up your washing machine and wash at 30˚. Washing machines use energy and water more efficiently when their full, and washing at 30˚ rather than 40˚ saves energy too.
  13. Use environmentally friendly washing detergents or washing detergent alternatives, which can save you money and some are even reusable for over 1,000 washes e.g. “Ecoballs” (www.ecozone.co.uk).
  14. Use the sun on sunny days to dry clothes instead of using the tumble dryer or radiator. It is free and zero CO2 emissions.
  15. Keep VOCs low. Volatile organic compounds (VOCs) are found in paints, preservatives and finishes, and are harmful to humans, wildlife and plants. These products are labelled showing their VOC content, therefore always choose products with the lowest VOCs.
  16. Buy sustainable wood. Choose furniture and DIY materials made from sustainable produced wood, which is labelled by the Forest Stewardship Council (FSC), the Programme for the Endorsement of Forest Certification schemes (PEFC) or other certified sustainable timber schemes.
  17.  Get “green” in your garden. Install solar powered garden lights to take advantage of the sun and collect rainwater in water butts to use for watering your garden instead of the hose.
  18. Start using solar powered alternatives by switching some everyday items, such as mobile phone chargers, torches, radios, etc. to help reduce your electricity costs and cut CO2 emissions.
  19. Switch to a renewable energy supplier offering wind power or solar power generated by clean and sustainable sources. A growing number of companies offer renewable technologies for homes and businesses, e.g. www.good-energy.co.uk . This is a really good way to reduce your carbon footprint and it is not as expensive as you might think. After all, by installing a mini wind turbine or solar panels you may never pay an energy bill again.
  20. Switch to grey water technology solutions and stop wasting water. This domestic water treatment equipment is used to help householders to recycle potable water and also to harvest rainwater. With the appropriate treatment, grey water can be used for laundry, toilet flushing and plant watering.
  21. Reduce your car emissions by:
    • choosing an efficient car that will also save you money on fuel and vehicle tax
    • reducing the number of short trips you make in your car by walking, cycling, or taking the bus or train
    • keeping your vehicle properly serviced
    • avoid carrying unnecessary weight in your boot
    • using bio diesel in any diesel powered vehicle, which is biodegradable and non-toxic
  22. Recycle and reduce waste:
    • avoid excess packaging and unnecessary carrier bags and buy reusable products instead of disposable ones
    • recycle paper, glass, plastics, wood, shoes, textiles, TVs and electrical equipment, light bulbs, fridges/freezers. Either councils of local civic amenity sites accept these materials for recycling
    • reuse and repair items to reduce waste and pass them on when you have finished with them
    • reduce your food waste-food that goes in the bin ends up in landfill and produces methane which is 20 times as powerful as CO2 causing a strong climate change effect
    • when possible, compost your garden and food waste to avoid methane production in landfill; many councils offer subsidised compost bins or home collection for your organic waste
    • buy recycled products
    • safely and responsibly dispose of hazardous waste items, such as paint, batteries.