Top Tips to ensure a Green 2013
Published by rtownsend for Sanctuary Housing Association in Health and also in Communities, Environment
With many households facing the prospect of higher energy bills this winter, and family budgets being stretched in 2013, leading housing and care provider, Sanctuary Group is giving householders some easy ways to ensure their homes are more energy efficient in the New Year.
Those keen to save on energy costs, or with a New Year’s resolution to cut carbon emissions can start by taking a look around the home and making a few simple changes to ensure their heating and energy use is that little bit more efficient. The following tips can help:
- Try turning the thermostat down by one degree. According to the Energy Saving Trust, for each degree that you turn your thermostat down it could save around £60 on your annual heating bill.
- Remember to turn lights and electrical appliances completely off when they’re not in use. Leaving appliances on standby uses more energy than you may think.
- As you replace old light bulbs, be sure to invest in their energy saving counterparts. What may seem like a splurge at the supermarket on eco-friendly light bulbs will soon pay for itself in savings on energy bills. Remember too that low energy light bulbs also have a much longer lifespan than traditional versions.
- A large proportion of a household’s energy bill goes towards heating and hot water. Taking a short shower instead of a bath saves both water and energy, and going one step further to install a more efficient shower head can take as little as five minutes. Many water companies offer these and other water saving products free to their customers.
- With this in mind, ensure that you only run a washing machine or dishwasher when it’s completely full, and don’t forget to adjust the settings to wash your clothes at 30 degrees. Also, when using the kettle only boil the amount of water you’ll need.
- Insulating water pipes, and importantly, your hot water cylinder can help prevent heat from being lost and keep the water hotter for longer. A hot water cylinder jacket costs about £20 from a DIY store, but can save you around £40 a year on energy costs, as long as it’s at least the British Standard recommended 75mm thick.
- Limit draughts around doors and windows and where any pipes lead outside by sealing off any cracks with drought-proofing adhesive strips, draught excluders and brushes, or flaps. All can be found easily at a local DIY store. Don’t forget to seal the area around your loft hatch, using strip insulation, as you would on a door.
- Radiator reflector panels when placed behind a radiator can help bounce heat back into a room, rather than letting it out through an external wall. Reflective material, such as kitchen foil, can act as a cost effective substitute.
- Homeowners can also invest in a bit of extra insulation in the loft or in any cavity walls to keep the heat that you’re paying for inside the house where it’ll do the most good.
- Those looking to save on energy bills should also remember that price comparison websites, such as www.Uswitch.com, www.energyhelpline.com and www.moneysupermarket.com can help you choose the tariff and service that’s best for you.
Dennis Evans, Managing Director from Sanctuary Maintenance said: “Maintaining and running properties can be costly so we fully understand how important small changes like these can be for those on limited incomes.
“These top ten tips are things that we can all do right now to help every pound go a bit further in the coming year.”