We’ve teamed up with our friends at B&Q One Planet Home® to help us understand why energy efficiency is important and what we can all do with 7 simple tips to save energy at home. Here’s their advice.
1. Keep the heat in
A quarter of your home’s heat is lost through the roof if there is no insulation – and a further third through un-insulated cavity walls*. Insulate and draught proof your home to make it more comfortable and keep heating bills under control.
2. Turn down your thermostat
Turning down your thermostat if it is set too high will save around £60 a year on heating bills andreduce your production of carbon dioxide by around 250kg.
If every home in the UK turned down their thermostat by just one degree, collectively we could save £705 million a year on energy bills and reduce as much carbon dioxide as we would by taking more than a million cars off the road.*
3. Energy saving lighting
Save around £55 a year on your energy bills, and 190kg of carbon dioxide by replacing all the remaining standard bulbs and halogen spots in your home with energy-saving light bulbs such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).*
New LED light bulbs reach full brightness instantly and use even less electricity than older CFL bulbs.
4. Wrap up your hot water
Heating water for use in taps, baths and showers makes up around 23 per cent of an average heating bill. That’s around £160 a year.*
Fit a tank jacket to your hot water cylinder, insulate hot water pipes and check that your cylinder’s thermostat is set to 60°C.
5. Seal out draughts
Draught-proofing windows and doors can save around £30 and 120kg of carbon dioxide a year.* Simply applying flexible sealant to block gaps around your floor and skirting boards can save around £25 and 100kg of carbon dioxide a year.*
6. Dry your laundry naturally
In a recent Energy Saving Trust survey**, it was found that households with a tumble dryer used more electricity to dry laundry than to wash it. Using a clothes line or airer for at least some laundry can help to keep electricity bills down.
7. Switch off standby costs
Homes can waste as much as 16 per cent of their electricity bill powering appliances that aren’t in use!
A recent Energy Survey Trust survey** found that we spend even more than expected on standby. Switch off and use an electricity monitor to find out what’s using the most electricity in your home.
All about energy
All about energy
What is climate change?
Carbon dioxide is a greenhouse gas. It traps heat in our atmosphere, keeping the planet warm. As levels of carbon dioxide (CO2) build up, the atmosphere traps more and more heat, leading to increases in average global temperature. This results in unpredictable and extreme changes to our climate.
What are carbon emissions?
CO2 emissions are released when we burn fossil fuels like oil, gas and coal. In the regular carbon cycle CO2 is re-absorbed by plants and trees. But because we are burning so many fossil fuels, the regular cycle can’t cope and CO2 levels are building up.
What is renewable energy?
Renewable energy is made from the sun, wind and tides. Technologies like solar panels, wind and water turbines turn natural forces into energy for us. They can be small enough to put on your roof or in your garden, turning your property into a mini-power station.
How you can make a difference
Carbon is the problem, so cutting carbon is the solution! By saving energy in your home with insulation, lower heating and energy-saving light bulbs, you can cut the amount of carbon your lifestyle is responsible for.
B&Q’s One Planet Home® programme is an award winning environmental scheme that has been designed to help customers make greener choices for their homes and ensure the business operates sustainably and responsibly.
Drop us a line
If you find any of these tips help you to save money, why not drop us a line at firstname.lastname@example.org? Your letter could win £100 if it is chosen as our ‘star letter’ for publication.
* Source: Energy Saving Trust checked August 2012
** “Powering the Nation”, Energy Saving Trust 2012