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Why Save Energy?

Saving energy is essential to prolong the survival of planet earth!

Using less energy means that the power companies produce less, which means less carbon dioxide is produced. Carbon by products from manufacturing are believed to be responsible for global warming. If everyone makes the effort to reduce the amount of energy they use, then the environmental benefits could be enormous. In the UK, one quarter of all carbon dioxide emissions come from the energy we use to heat and light our homes, and power our household appliances.

Heat escapes through all sorts of places in your home.You can reduce the energy wasted by your home by improving the insulation, by improving the efficiency of your heating system and by using more efficient lights and appliances. Not only will you reduce your fuel bills for years to come, you will also be doing your bit for the environment by conserving energy resources and reducing the threat of climate change.

Energy saving tips

Each of our homes is different but whether in a mansion or in a studio flat, the factors that increase our electricity bills and in turn increase our emissions output are often the same.

1. Monitor your use

a) Read your meter. Looking at your meter regularly will help you deduce what areas of the house are the most costly for electricity use. Kettles, toasters, tumble dryers, older televisions and computer equipment are high wattage and use a lot of power. So where possible, minimise their use or as in the case of toasters choose a two slice over four slice model and for kettles, boil only the water you need.

b) Buy an electrisave. This new device shows you exactly how much electricity each device in the home uses. If you act on the information it provides you, you will have recouped the cost of the electrisave in a matter of months and it will continue to help you save money.

2. Be mindful

So much of the power we pay for is power we do not even use. Appliances on standby, lights left on in unused rooms and computers that never get switched off are putting pounds on your bill. Switching off and maintaining your household items will soon make you savings.

a) Lighting. Lighting accounts for 15% of our electricity bill. Don't light rooms that aren't in use and begin to install low energy bulbs. Their initial cost is high but they use a quarter of the power of conventional light bulbs. Over their life time, low energy bulbs can save you up to £65. You can now find all shapes and sizes of energy efficient light bulbs in specialist shops.

b) Good Housekeeping. Elements in kettles and washing machines that are coated with limescale are inefficient and use more energy to raise the temperature of the water they are heating. Leave a cup full of vinegar in your kettle overnight to remove limescale. Vinegar can be used to maintain your washing machine too. Every two months run a 60 degree cycle with no clothes and add 200ml of white vinegar. This will reduce electricity use and maintain health of these appliances.

c) Freezers that are filled with frost work harder to stay cold. They should be defrosted every year or sooner if they frost up frequently. Good seals on fridges and freezers are needed to keep them working efficiently too. Well stocked fridges and freezers need less energy than empty ones do.

d) Hot water. Dishwashers and washing machines that heat their own water should be kept to low temperature settings. All modern detergents are designed to clean successfully at 40 degrees Celsius and there is no need for a prewash. Washing at 65 degrees Celsius will require twice as much energy. Wash loads only. Single shirts and half full dishwashers are costing you money. If you heat your water electrically, you can expect your hot water cost to be double if you bath instead of shower.

3. Invest

Old or poorly maintained appliances are costing you money. Although it may seem a huge investment to buy new appliances it will end up saving you sooner than you think. Although it takes a lot of energy to produce new appliances, if you buy sensibly, you will have an item that has a long life and minimal energy use.

a) An old fridge freezer may cost you two and a half times more to power than a modern 'A' rated one.

b) If you are looking to upgrade your computer, it is advisable to get a Laptop instead of a conventional PC. Because they run off a lower wattage they are far more energy efficient and use less electricity.

c) Tumble driers are appliances that contribute in a big way to your electricity bills. An 'A' rated model will use twice as less than a 'G' rated appliance. Good Energy recommends the Good Shopping Guide.

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