The Current Climate
With the cost of living on an ever upward spiral, family budgets are becoming more and more restricted. Staple essentials such as bread and milk look set to rise whilst energy bills show no sign of coming down dramatically in the near future. So the question has to be asked what can be done to save money whilst at the same time ensuring we are taking necessary steps to our bit for the environment.
Switch it Off
When considering what household essentials we use on a regular basis the list is endless. Washing machines, laptops and TV’s all play a major part in the energy consumption tally on an electricity bill. It’s estimated that we spend over £30 a year on electrical items left in standby mode. Obviously this is a waste of money and energy to power something which is not being used. Items such as laptops are recommended to be turned off after use for two reasons, not only leaving them on standby mode can cause permanent damage to the product but as they often overheat can become a serious fire risk. If you still refuse to turn off household appliances then why not consider investing in energy saving plug and sockets. The benefits to this is that timers can set to turn off items, meaning that if you do accidentally forget that back up measures are in place to do this job for you.
An area we don’t always consider using a lot of energy is the lighting of a property. How often do we walk from one room in a house to another and leave the lights on. Did you answer too often? Simply, if you don’t need the room to be illuminated, then turn it off. If only for a few seconds you will save money and more importantly be saving energy, which of course, is the major priority.
Keeping track of how much energy we use can be difficult, that’s why energy companies along with Government backing are introducing smart meters into the home of millions. With these smart meters, homeowners can view in real time how much energy is being used in their home in real time and have access to personalised data on how to reduce energy bills. This allows homeowners to become more tactical to when they use gas and electricity. Being wise to off-peak tariffs will enable homeowners to use certain products in off peak hours, meaning less expensive energy bills. In addition to this, smart meters will contain information on the usage of the property, allowing residents to compare usage over the years. With a nationwide scheme introduced for 2014 expected, homeowners will see a reduction in meter readings as this data will be monitored through the smart meters.
Luckily many more of us are taking further measures to ensure we are doing our bit for the environment. Homeowners across the country have opted to install solar panels on their home to convert sunlight into electricity which can be used to run household appliances and lighting. The benefit of this systems means not only will you cut your household electricity bill but can also sell surplus energy back to the national grid. Early stages of installation can be costly with some of the lowest packages ranging from just over £7000 so it may not be a solution for everyone. If this is an option for you though ensure you use a Green Deal Installer, this ensures necessary check and regulations have been met for those who wish to supply and install energy saving products.
Ashley has worked in the Energy sector for three years, first of all as an advisor to energy customers and now as a business advisor, working with individual clients on how they can ensure they are taking necessary steps to save on consumption. Photo by Michael Gil