Ovesco - working in partnership with Parity Projects to bring you the
Home Energy Masterplan
The Home Energy Masterplans provide market-leading analysis of the energy and carbon saving options for your home. They offer detailed, individually tailored and independent advice to help you make informed decisions on the most cost effective steps you can take. Find out more...
Reducing our energy consumption is key to reducing our carbon emissions, reducing our impact on the environment, and also our dependence on fossil fuels.
There are massive savings to be made in being more efficient with our use of energy, and there are many ways to do this. Some cost nothing and are simply about changing your habits.
As a start to reducing energy consumption, fit 270mm of loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, good draught proofing and low energy lights bulbs. Then think about renewables such as solar thermal panels for hot water. Use the following advice as a step by step guide to saving energy:
Ovesco Free Energy Saving Advice
As our domestic housing is responsible for almost 25% of the UK' s total carbon emissions this has to be the priority for any individual, local authority or government serious about tackling climate change. The 'Home Truth' report claims carbon emissions from UK homes could be cut by 80 per cent by 2050. The report published by Dr Brenda Boardman of the University of Oxford's environmental change institute on the 27th of November 2007, Fixing Fuel poverty, set out strategies for delivering huge carbon cuts from UK homes while cutting energy bills, creating jobs, increasing fuel security and eradicating fuel poverty. For a copy see Earthscan.
Here is a selection of money-saving measures that you can implement today:
1. Shut the curtains at dusk
Make sure that they don't hang in front of the radiators or the outside wall will benefit from the heat instead of the room! Use thick curtains that are thermally lined. Or get a second pair of curtains from a charity shop to act as lining material.
2. Radiator reflectors
Put radiator reflectors or kitchen foil behind the radiator, and a shelf above it. This will ensure that the heat is reflected into the room rather than being lost to the wall or the ceiling
Don't leave the TV and video on standby - turn them off at the machine. When they are on standby they are still using 80% of the electricity that they would be using if they were on.
4. Freezers and fridges
If you have a big freezer keep it full or else you'll be wasting money on keeping an empty space cold! Fill up any large gaps with old ice cream boxes filled with water. The frozen water will help to keep the rest of the food cold.
Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly to ensure they run efficiently. When loading up the freezer or fridge don't keep the doors open for long or the cold air will escape.
Cooking by gas is cheaper than cooking with an electric cooker.
Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you're using an electric kettle).
A microwave is cheap to use. So if you have one and you feel comfortable using it, use it to pre-cook food.
Choose the right size pans for the food and cooker, and keep the lids on when you cook - this will reduce condensation as well as energy.
6. Washing machine/tumble dryers
Wash full loads where possible. Use the '½' button for smaller loads.
Use a time clock to make use of the cheaper rate of electricity if you have Economy 7 or other off-peak tariffs.
Dry clothes outside whenever possible.
If you buy a new machine make sure it is an energy efficient model.
Switch all lights off when they are not being used.
Buy a low energy light bulb. They use 1/4 of the electricity of normal bulbs and last 10 times as long. Just one can save you £60 over the lifetime of the bulb. Even though they are more expensive than normal light bulbs they are a good investment. You will get your money back in terms of electricity saved in the first year.
8. Room heaters
If you need an individual room heater for additional heat, the most efficient type is a thermostatically controlled convector heater with timer.
9. Heating and hot water controls
If you are too hot, turn down the room thermostat or the thermostat on the radiator down, rather than opening the window. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 percent. You could save around £40 per year. Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat shouldn't need to be set higher than 60°C/140°F. A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they're fully turned off!
10. Commission an energy assessment of your home and act on the recommendations.
11. Make sure you apply for grants you are entitled to.
If you or someone in your family is in receipt of benefits or over 70 years old you may be entitled to a Warm Front grant for energy efficiency measures such as loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, draught proofing, hot water tank insulation, low energy light bulbs, heating controls, and central heating improvements. See the Insulation & Heating Grants page for more information.
OVESCo encourage all users of this website to calculate your Carbon Footprint
The U value measures how quickly your home loses heat (via loft, wall, floor and window) so the lower the U value, the less energy you need to keep your home warm. Loft insulation cuts your loft's U value from around 2.3 (for an uninsulated loft) to 0.16 W/m2K, a reduction of around 95%. U value calculation for loft insulation can be found at at vesma.com
The Energy Saving Trust has a good web site for further information on carbon footprinting and how to reduce your energy bills.
For general information on ways to insulate your home try CUS
Also try B&Q for do it yourself insulation at One Planet Home
There are various monitors which show how much electricity you are using, such as the OWL, which retails for £35 or less. You can search the internet for suppliers by typing in 'Owl monitor' on your browser.