Keeping life green and simple
Doug Stewart of 100Green: “I accept that some people might say I’m stating the bleedin’ obvious, but many of us talk the talk but don’t follow through. Little things like this make a difference – reduce waste, reduce your consumption, and reduce your energy bills, what’s not to like? Rather than us just simply selling gas and electricity we are also doing our little bit for the planet as well.”
One of the simplest and probably most old-fashioned ways of reducing your energy consumption and keeping your home warm is to draw your curtains or blinds. These can keep the cold from coming in and keep the heat from escaping out.
You’ll remember this when you feel that icy draft coming in through your letterbox in the mornings. Insulating those small gaps whether it’s that letterbox, or the cat flap, can help keep your house warm and cosy. Using rubber or brush draft excluders or insulating tape can be quite an easy fix.
One of the most common myths about hot water is that it needs to be left on all day. This can cost a small fortune. Equally, leaving your heating on all day when you are out at work doesn’t make sense EITHER. Most central heating and hot water systems come with programmable timers, and you can now buy smartphone apps to control your heating when you are away from home. Set your timers for when you need the heating and hot water to come on, allowing time for the house to warm up and cool down. Set your water to heat up only when you need it. If your hot water cylinder or tank is well insulated, you may even find that the hot water supply in the morning stays hot enough to use in the evenings.
With the typical UK weather fluctuating in the build up to winter, and even during the winter, it’s always a good idea to keep an eye on the temperature of your heating and adjust IT according to the weather. With household heating and hot water accounting for more than 50% of a customer’s energy bill, it makes sense to economise where you can. For example, by turning down your room thermostat by just one degree, you'll cut as much as 10% off your heating bill, saving around £90 a year.
Draught proofing is one of the most efficient and cheapest ways of making your home warm and more energy efficient. Draughts let in too much cold air and waste too much heat. To draught-proof your home you should block up unwanted gaps that let cold air in and warm air out. Saving warm air means you’ll use less energy to heat your home, so you'll save money as well as making your home snug.
Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you £25 to £50 per year. Draught-free homes are comfortable at lower temperatures – so you’ll be able to turn down your thermostat. This could save you another 10% off your heating bill. The biggest culprits for draughts are windows and doors. Metal or plastic strips with brushes or wipers attached are the best option. Self-adhesive foam strips are cheaper and easy to install but may not last as long. Loft hatches can often get forgotten. So if you are insulating your loft, don’t forget the hatch! Floorboards are also a common cause of draughts, as are chimneys and fireplaces.
A staggering 25% of heat gets lost through your roof. You can save as much as £250 a year by insulating your LOFT, with pay back of just under 2 years.
Turn the heaters or radiators off in the rooms you are not using. If the thermostats are on full in these rooms you will be wasting energy. If the rooms are not in use, either turn down or turn off!
Pipe insulation often gets forgotten but is essential. If left uninsulated, they can freeze. Insulation, can easily be slipped over the exposed pipes and save heat from escaping, saving your energy bill.
TVs, set-top boxes, DVDs, mobile phone chargers, games consoles, stereos and PCs use small amounts of electricity when they are plugged in but not switched on. Whilst the standby energy consumed is small, the overall energy consumption does add up. Switch-off the stand-by, reduce your energy consumption and save between £50 and £80 a year.
Move large objects away from radiators. These can stop heat circulating around the room, and what’s the point of heating up your sofa when it’s you that needs to stay warm!
You can allow all cookies or choose to manage them.