Eco Homes – It’s Big Energy Saving Week!

oliver Environmental events, General, Technology/ Energy Saving

For those of you who aren’t aware, this week is Big Energy Saving Week! The Citizens Advice Bureau has teamed up with British Gas to bring us the Big Energy Saving Week and it is now a bigger and better event than ever before. The main aim is to increase awareness about the information and help which is available to all customers looking to save money on their energy bills at home. There are special events all over the UK throughout the week to help make this information more readily available to you and set you on the right path.

Winter is fast approaching and energy bills are likely to rise with the increased use of lighting, heating, and staying at home in the warm, all this top of everything we were using already! A recent study carried out by the Energy Saving Trust highlights the hidden horrors of our unknown electricity use at home, however here are some key tips to help you combat wasteful energy use without compromising on the quality of your life at home.

We all assume that when we go to sleep our home shuts down too. The survey has shown that this is far from the truth and that energy use is still at least 40% of peak morning use!

How is this possible? The report states that we waste too much by leaving items on standby. The total standby usage is placed at around 16% of all domestic use and costs each house between £50 and £86 every year. Over a ten year period that could cost you around £900! You can help reduce this hidden energy consumption with an Energenie standby shutdown plug that operates on a timer. If you forget to turn off the TV from standby, the Energenie will do it for you.

Energy use has also risen over the past decade partly due to those must have electrical items we are all so fond of purchasing. Portable items such as MP3 players, Laptops, Tablets and Games Consoles are all charged through external units and account for a surprising 10% of all energy use.

One of the key concerns of the report was lighting, on average a household has 34 light bulbs. Although, with thanks to recent legislation banning the use of most incandescent lighting, energy figures have reduced, but there is still more we can do. These light bulbs from Toshiba are very efficient and perfect for any ambient lighting needs in your home. There are also plenty of other ways you can make your lighting at home a little greener, as this article shows, every little helps.

Another key point found in the report was that washing machines and dryers waste a huge amount of energy. The average household has 5.5 cycles a week, although some case studies were as high as 22 cycles in a week! It was discovered that over half of these washes were at a temperature of 40°C. But it was found that Tumble Dryers are the worst offenders for energy waste. One of the key solutions is to use a drying rack. These fantastically simple racks can be raised to the ceiling, keeping them out of the way, and making a really nice design feature. Also remember, in most cases, washing at 30°C is perfectly fine.

Finally the report noted that two people can live as cheaply as one. By sharing a home you can instantly halve your impact on energy consumption in all of the above situations. The graph below displays energy use during cooking for a varying number of occupants at home. However nice it is to have your own space, it’s definitely cheaper and greener to share, so make some space for your dining table or get it cleared and start having regular meals together.

If you are interested in learning more about Big Energy Saving Week then the British Gas website has information available, helping you to be aware about your energy consumption at home.