Most people could immediately reduce their home energy requirements by making simple and cheap changes such as the following:
- Draft proofing doors and windows: Draft proofing reduces the heating requirements in your home and ensures greater comfort. It can be as simple and cheap as using rolled up newspapers to plug gaps in floorboards. However, draft proofing strips for doors and windows are available in most DIY stores.
- Replacing all light bulbs with energy efficient equivalents: The range and quality of low energy light bulbs has increased substantially over the last few years so persevere until you find ones that suit your situation. 4 low energy light bulbs on for 5 hours a day saves around £23 a year.
- Drying clothes naturally: This is not always easy, especially in winter and when there are many people in a household, but putting up a washing line and investing in a drying rack will at least reduce the need for the tumble drier. Avoiding use of a tumble dryer in the summer can save £37 a year.
- Fully turning off electrical equipment: Switching off, and even better unplugging, is often simply a matter of habit but can make a significant difference to your electricity bills each month. Standby functions still use up to one third of the energy used by appliances when in full use.
- Closing curtains at dusk: As the temperature drops in the evenings closing your curtains will slow the cooling of your living environment. Furthermore, when appropriate, tucking curtains behind radiators will ensure heat goes into the room rather than out of the window!
- Only boiling the required amount of water: The more water, the more energy required to boil it. So fill the kettle and pans with enough water for the job and no more. Use a mug as a measure if this helps.
- Turning down the thermostat: Water and heating thermostats are often set much higher than they need to be, with water coming out too hot and radiators so warm we need to shed several layers of clothing. Turning down your thermostat by just 1 degree will save money and around 300kg CO2 per annum.
- Having a shower rather than a bath
For further help and advice on easy ways to save energy in the home, try the following:
Energy Saving Trust: As well as offering home energy checks, this website has many tips on affordable ways to be more energy efficient. You can also call their helpline on 0800 512012.
Carbon rationing action groups: A network of groups around the country which agree annual carbon dioxide emission limits and try to live within them. This allows members of the group to determine what their emissions are to begin with, and so help identify ways to reduce them. Look on their website to find your nearest group or for advice on starting one up.