Energy Saving Ideas for British Homes
For anyone living in the Northern Hemisphere with its cold winters, energy saving should be a very important consideration - simply because of the high and escalating cost of energy. And for people living in Cornwall, with its notoriously cold coastal winds, it is even more important to keep their homes snug and warm at the lowest possible cost.
Turn down and turn off
One of the biggest energy wasters is a central heating system that is set too high. Most people will not even notice if the room thermostat is turned down by one degree, yet this alone can save a significant amount of money per year.
Another way to conserve energy is to turn off lights, chargers and appliances when they are not in use. It costs nothing to switch off the light when one leaves a room – in fact it is estimated that the average household can safe between £50 and £90 per year by simply turning off things when they are not in use.
A lot of energy is wasted in the average kitchen. It’s easy to save money by not filling the kettle right up to make just one or two cups of coffee or tea. Another cost saver is to turn the temperature of the washing machine down one or two degrees. Apart from saving money it will make no discernible difference. Tumble dryers should only be used when it’s really not feasible to dry clothes outside.
There are also lots of energy saving opportunities in the bathroom. Start off by installing an electric shower; compared to using water from the hot water cylinder this is much more energy efficient.
Most homeowners can also save a substantial amount of money per year on using less hot water when they take a bath. Is it really necessary to fill the bath almost to the rim with hot water, and then wait for it to cool off before taking a bath?
Another point is the bathroom window: if it doesn’t seal properly or one leaves it open while running a bath, a lot of energy will be wasted in the process. This actually applies to all doors and windows: a huge amount of energy is wasted every year through windows and doors that are not properly sealed.
The next culprit in the bathroom is the hot water cylinder. In a cold climate this should be insulated with a tank jacket to prevent heat from escaping. At the same time exposed hot water pipes should also be insulated.
A relatively cheap and very effective way to save energy (and money) is to replace all light bulbs with low-energy ones. The latest LED spotlights are virtually as bright as halogens, yet they use a lot less electricity.
Keep the heat in
Last but not least: during a cold winter night shutters and blinds would be very effective in keeping the heat where it belongs – inside the house. These come in a variety of attractive colours and designs, and they give any window a great look.
Story added 8th March 2013