Most people want to do their bit for the environment but are stuck in the mindset of ‘I’ll start being greener next month’ or ‘I’ll be more energy efficient in the new year’ and they seem to lack that motivation to start making some changes.
Well, if the well being of the planet does not motivate you enough, how does saving some cold hard cash grab you as an incentive?
This article aims to provide some energy saving tips and to highlight some of the potential monetary savings if they are followed.
Hints and tips for energy saving:
This is a great place to start as insulating your home is probably the single most effective way of reducing your energy bills. Lofts and walls can be insulated with a layer of non-conducting material whilst pipes can also be insulated to ensure minimum heat loss.
Many people are under the illusion that insulating your home would be expensive, but in the age of a heavy environmental conscience, there are grants available that can mean getting your house insulated for next to nothing.
Even if you do have to pay for your house to be properly insulated the huge savings annually will soon mean that the insulation has paid for itself, and then some!
Cavity wall insulation will cost around £500 but it will afford savings of £130-£180!
Loft insulation will set you back around £230 with annual savings of up to £220!
Unplug your electronics
Turning your electronic products off properly and not just leaving them on standby will make a notable difference, over the period of a year you can save in excess of £20.
You could even use your savings to buy a solar powered charger for some of your electronic devices such as your iPod and mobile phone!
Turn the lights off
Turning lights off when you are not in a room is a great way to save energy and once you are in the habit of remembering it is an extremely easy thing to do because you walk past the majority of light switches on your way out of a room.
Another thing to do is install energy saving bulbs, it is a myth that they are expensive as they are available for less than a pound, they use 20% of the energy of a normal bulb and they can potentially last for 6-8 years, 10 times longer than a normal light bulb.
With a possible saving of around £200 a year you will kick yourself if you put it on hold for a few months, do it now!
Monitor your thermostat
Over the course of a year turning your thermostat down by as little as 1 degree will save you a few quid.
Keeping your thermostat at an appropriate level could save you up to 10% (around £30) off your annual heating bill.
Shower yourself with cash
Showering instead of having a bath will save you a great deal of energy, those long soaks use around three times more energy than a shower.
Power showers use more energy than regular showers but they are not the only way of enjoying a decent amount of power. Have a look at purchasing a water-saving shower head, shower heads that ensure a strong flow by keeping blockages down to a minimum, and save up to £50 a year.
Do not boil unnecessary water in the kettle
You can save around £20 a year just by keeping your water levels in your kettle down to a minimum.
If you want to avoid experiencing that annoying moment of realisation when you are pouring your third cup and you realise you didn’t boil quite enough water, try pouring the water into the mugs first, and then into the kettle, using the mugs as a measure to ensure you are boiling enough water.
Not only will you save energy but your kettle will boil quicker too!
Conversely, do fill your dishwasher!
Putting half the amount of dishes into a dishwasher does not mean you use half the amount of energy, the energy used for every load, however big, is near enough the same.
You should therefore always endeavour to fill your washer to the brim, but not only should you fill it, you should also ensure that it is not set to an unnecessarily high temperature. The lower the heat setting of your machine the lower the energy consumption, you can save £40 annually from turning down the heat alone. All in all, you could be looking at a saving of around £75.
Use your head, try using your hands
There is of course another alternative to lower heat settings and large loads that will save you even more money, doing it yourself (or getting the kids to do it).
Washing up with your hands, some washing up liquid and a sponge can be therapeutic, satisfying and quick! It is not always going to be practical but on those occasions where there are just a couple of plates, give them a blast for a few seconds under the tap as soon after the meal as possible, throw in a squeeze of fairy liquid and they will be good as new.
Our reliance on machines can sometimes be a bit lazy and you can fall into bad habits if you are not careful. Next time you pull out a machine to do a job you may be able to do without it, try doing it yourself, it’ll do your body good and it may just keep your bank balance healthy as well!
The total savings
So, with all of these savings you could buy yourself something special. You could even treat yourself to that impressive home cinema system you have always wanted, complete with a large plasma screen and surround sound, just make sure you remember to turn it off!