Big Energy Saving Week (January 17th-23rd)

General Blogs

 

This week is Big Energy Saving Week!

This marks a perfect opportunity for businesses and individuals to kick-start their energy efficiency plans for 2022 on the road to Net Zero. With Cop26 just a few months back, this week reopens the conversations on the importance of reducing our energy consumption and having clear plans in our homes, schools and workplaces on how we can improve and save energy.

Saving energy reduces air and water pollution and conserves natural resources, which in turn creates a healthier living environment for people everywhere. At the same time, efficiency also saves money and creates jobs. One of the key issues with energy production is burning fuels such as coal and oil. These are known contributors to air pollution, with nitrogen oxides, sulfur dioxide, soot, mercury being released into the air we breathe, humans are then at risk to disease and side effects such as asthma, heart disease, and in some cases strokes and poorer brain development. It is therefore important for us to reduce air pollution, as energy efficiency improves public health.

Renewable energy is an excellent solution with several advantages such as;

  1. Unlimited supply
  2. Energy production is clean
  3. Low maintenance and durable
  4. Revenue generation for homeowners
  5. Provide a fixed electricity cost

It will take time for humanity to make the shift over to renewable energy for the majority of our energy needs. Saving energy can help reduce demand and in turn reduce fossil fuels being burnt to light and heat our homes, a reduction in the use of these fuels is a key battle to gaining the upper hand on our current climate crisis. A number of countries are now targeting between 2030 and 2050 to get to ‘Net Zero’, but in order to meet that goal they will need to convince every household and consumer of electricity to adapt to new measures in order to contribute to this overall national goal.

Why should we save energy?

Environmental Benefits

Now more than ever, environmental issues are becoming especially important. It is almost impossible to deny the adverse effects that our modern lifestyle full of electronics and fossil fuels has on our environment. That means that we should do whatever we can to reduce our personal carbon footprint at home. This is the first reason to go green, and it has a large impact for your family, others, and future generations as well as our wildlife friends.

Save Money

Spending a little bit of money up front for energy saving windows or low-energy appliances made for energy efficiency will save you a significant amount of money in the long run on electricity and water. “Green” houses are also easier to sell according to an energy audit.

Health Benefits

Did you know that a green home with energy saving appliances is also cleaner and healthier for you? Less pollutants in the air mean you and your family are breathing better air. This means that you and your family will have healthier respiratory systems.

Spark Your Local Economy

Don’t buy vegetables that have been infused with preservatives and flown thousands of miles. Buy at your local farmers market. It will build up your local economy and taste better, too!

Using Less Resources

It may seem that we have an unlimited supply of natural resources, but we simply don’t. Any energy audit will report that we are using more resources than are naturally being created.

Non-toxic Products

Most natural, “green” products are non-toxic. That means that they are safer around the little ones, and they are more beneficial to you and your health as well.

How can i save energy this week?

We can all take action to start saving energy instantly, most actions are very self explanatory and easy to implement, others take a stronger commitment to maintain – how committed are you to the cause? 

 

Short -term Solutions: Actions you can take today.

  • Turning off lights in empty rooms and devices nobody is using. It is important not to leave machines on ‘standby’ as it is a potential fire hazard.
  • Playing games outside in the garden or in the park is a great way to save power in the house. We can warm up outside by running around or cool down in hot weather by sitting in the shade and enjoying the breeze rather than switching on a fan.
  • Take showers instead of baths and keep showers short.
  • When brushing your teeth turn off the tap.
  • Use cold water instead of warm water when possible. According to Unicef cold water and warm water are equally effective at killing viruses such as Covid-19 as long as you wash your hands for 20 seconds, use soap and dry your hands completely afterwards.
  • Only use washing machines and dishwashers when they are full.

 

Long-term solutions: Actions you can further commit to.

Turn off standby appliances

  • Turn appliances off at the plug to save an average of £30 a year.
  • Use plug sockets that can be turned on and off via your phone, to make sure you switch unused appliances off. You could use cheaper timer plugs to schedule turning appliances off.

 

Install a smart thermostat

  • Smart thermostats can make your heating more efficient by only warming the rooms you are using.
  • They learn how long it takes to heat your home, so they can have it at the right temperature at exactly the right time.
  • They can also be controlled by your phone, which means you won’t have to come back to a cold home.
  • If you installed room thermostats, programmers and thermostatic radiator valves, you could save around £75 a year.

 

Turn down your thermostat

  • Almost half the money spent on energy bills is absorbed by heating and hot water costs.
  • Turning your heating down by just one degree could save up to £80 a year.

 

Buy efficient appliances

  • Throwing out a perfectly good appliance won’t save you much money, but when it is time to swap, going for one with a high energy-efficiency rating can be worth the investment.
  • An A+++ washing will typically use £65 less energy than an A+ one over an 11-year product lifespan.
  • A modern, efficient dishwasher will typically cost around £7 less a year to run compared to an older model.
  • An A+++ fridge freezer will save around £320 in energy bills over its lifetime compared to an A+ model.

 

Install a new boiler

  • You can save energy by upgrading your old boiler to a new A-rated condensing boiler with a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator controls.
  • Based on fuel prices in March 2019, a detached house upgrading from a G-rated boiler could save around £300 a year.

 

Wash clothes at a lower temperature

  • Washing at 30 degrees rather than 40 degrees can help reduce your energy usage, and if you can cut out one wash cycle per week you’ll clip £5 off your annual energy bill.

 

Be smarter about water

  • You can save around £25 a year by washing up in a bowl rather than using a running tap.
  • Buying a more efficient shower head can save you as much as £18 per person a year on energy bills, plus an additional amount if you have a water meter.
  • If you fit a shower timer in your bathroom, you could save up to £7 per person each year by cutting just one minute off every shower.

 

Invest in double glazing

  • Double glazing insulates your home from the cold and helps reduce your heating bill, as well as keeping the noise out.
  • If your semi-detached home is entirely single glazed, you could save as much as £110 a year by installing A-rated double glazing.

 

Draught-proof your property

  • A cold draught can cause your home to lose heat, which makes it more tempting to turn the heating up. Draught excluders or draught-proofing kits are a good way to prevent this.
  • Seal cracks in floors and skirting boards, line your letterbox and block an unused chimney to reduce your heating bills by up to £35 a year.
  • If you don’t have double glazing, you can buy plastic lining for your windows to save energy and keep more heat in.

 

Roof Insulation

  • Insulating your roof can stop heat escaping from your home ? however the process can be complicated so it may be best to employ an expert to do this.
  • While insulating your loft can cost several hundreds of pounds, it can also shave around £135 off your energy bills each year if you live in a typical semi-detached house.

Final Notes

Ultimately this week is a great week to reflect, and take responsibility for our individual and collective energy wastage. Let’s take this time to take some steps to ensuring we contribute towards our governmental and societal goals of reducing our carbon footprint, after all – we are all in this together!

Author: Elizabeth Akalumhe, 18th January 2022

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