This is a guest post by Mark Hilton, Resource Efficiency Lead at Eunomia Research & Consulting on how to save energy.
It was initially meant as a short contribution to my group interview on the easiest way to save energy but due to its depth I decided to use it as standalone post as well! I added some text formatting, emphasis, subheadings and an image.
Simple Steps – Impressive Results
Simple energy efficiency measures in the household can save the bill payer hundreds of pounds a year and make a good contribution to reducing global warming.
Those looking to buy a new home should start by looking for an A-rated house under the Energy Performance Certificates (EPC) scheme.
If you are a landlord, or renting, then note that as of 1 st April 2018, the minimum legal energy efficiency standard will be an E rating.
If you aren’t looking to move, you should eliminate drafts (using draft excluders, lined curtains etc.) and insulate your current home properly using thick loft insulation and cavity wall or panel insulation materials (which can be used internally and externally). Target the coldest and most-exposed walls first and make sure you replace windows and doors with A-rated versions when the time comes.
Heating and Lighting
Another common area of energy wastage is overheating of individual rooms. Adding thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) will help you control individual room temperatures more effectively and reduce heating bills. Remember that these should be set to the desired temperature (often on a scale of 1 to 5) and then left to self-regulate – not used as an on off switch!
Lighting is another area where energy can be easily saved. LED replacement lights are now really affordable and far better than the previous generation of energy saving lights, coming on instantly and being dimmable.
Further savings can be made by adding motion sensor controls on external lights and in rooms that are only occasionally occupied and using ambient light sensors to control lights in rooms that have good natural light.
Energy Efficient Products
Its also worth taking care with appliances. Buy energy efficient products (A+ and above) and make sure they have a stand-by mode. Don’t leave things on charge unnecessarily and where possible use ‘smart’ chargers that switch themselves off when the job is done.
Finally there is educating the family. Use a ‘smart’ meter to track your electricity usage and how much it costs to have different appliances running – and perhaps incentivise your children by linking their pocket money to how much energy is used!