If you implement all the tips on this page you could save enough money for a Holiday.
Don’t leave lights and equipment on when unnecessary – including those with LCDs (like video recorders or TVs on standby).
A regular 100w light bulb if left on unnecessarily for 4 hours a day will waste approx 25 Euro of your hard earned cash over a 1 year period! If you are leaving a few lights on every day you can multiply this figure by the amount of lights.
2. Turn it down!
Turning your heating thermostat down 1 degree will reduce your heating bill by 10%. Bedrooms can be kept at 18 degrees C and living rooms at around 20 degrees C in winter. Higher temperatures can actually be unhealthy. Thermostats on hot water cylinders need not be set higher than 60 degrees C.
Have a look at the tired squashed insulation in your attic. New building regulation compliance requires almost 30 centimetres or 12 inches of fibrewool insulation. That means insulating between and over your joists. Don’t forget to draught seal and insulate your attic hatch. While you’re at it, check doors and windows for draughts. Block up chimneys when not in use using an old cushion or similar. A huge amount of heated air from your house is lost up an open chimney. For those with some money to spend, consider building a porch or south facing conservatory or replace old single glazed windows with double-glazing (specify low e glass with argon filled gap in your windows). These measures will make your home more comfortable and radically reduce your heating bills.
4. Install energy efficient lighting!
A CFL (compact fluorescent) bulb uses 20% of the energy of an old style incandescent bulb and lasts up to 15 times longer. They are more expensive but pay for themselves within months. Purchase quality brands such as Phillips, Megaman or GE.
Using Energy Efficient lightbulby can save 80% of your lighting costs …
example : 12 regular 60w bulbs on for an average of 3 hours per day cost approx 120 Euro a year. You could knock this cost down to just over 20 Euro if you changed your bulbs!
5. Purchase energy efficient appliances and equipment!
That big American style fridge freezer will look great in the kitchen but will it burn a hole in your pocket. Always look for ‘A’ rated appliances where possible. This doesn’t just include washing machines, fridges and cookers. Computers and TVs also have wildly varying consumption figures. Ask the salesperson for the consumption rating (usually in watts) for the item. Try and choose the item with the lowest figure.
6. Use your energy wisely!
Try and avoid using appliances during maximum demand times, which is between 5pm and 7pm. This reduces stress on the National Grid. In the future, domestic homes may be charged extra for using power at these times (Smart metering), so get into the habit now. Wait for a full load before using your washing machine or dishwasher if possible. Don’t boil more water in the kettle than you actually need.
7. Conserve Water!
Water metering and water charges are just around the corner. Save water by taking showers instead of baths. Your ‘A’ rated dishwasher and washing machine will help save water too. Collect rainwater from your downpipes for watering plant or washing the car. The plants actually prefer it. Turn off the tap while shaving or brushing your teeth. Fill a suitably sized plastic container and put it in your toilet cistern. This will save you water every time you flush. Take care not to restrict your ballcock.
8. Walk and/or cycle where possible!
Huge numbers of car journeys are made to travel very short distances. Walk or cycle where possible which will make you fitter and reduce wear and tear on your car as engines don’t like short journeys which don’t give them time to warm up to an optimum operating temperature. It will also save you money on fuel and reduce your CO2 emissions.
9. Reduce, Re-use, Repair and Recycle (in that order)!
10. Buy Locally produced foodstuffs where possible!
Those organic carrots seem lovely but they may have originated on a different continent and been picked days or weeks ago. It is better to buy locally produced foodstuffs. It saves on carbon emissions, as the food will not have travelled as far. It also promotes local business and trade. Finally, the local fruit and veg will almost definitely have a higher level of nutrients in them.