How to be more energy efficient in 2019
Energy efficiency has played an important part in cutting the UK’s power generation to the lowest levels in a quarter of a century, according to analysis.
Experts say energy efficiency, not just switching from fossil fuels to renewables, should play a central role in reducing carbon emissions that are linked to global warming.
Here are some tips from the Energy Saving Trust on how you can be more energy efficient in 2019.
Switching off appliances, rather than leaving them on standby, could reduce bills by around £30 a year. Using a bowl to do the washing up – and not leaving the hot tap running – could save £25 a year, while only filling the kettle as much as you need could save £6 a year.
A water efficient shower head could save a four-person home as much as £70 a year on gas for water heating. Spending a minute less in the shower every day could save £7 a year per person.
Professional draught-proofing can save around £20 a year, while a chimney draught excluder could save around £15.
Turning off lights when not in use can save around £15 a year, while LED lighting can save around £35.
Heating accounts for an average of 55% of annual energy bills, according to the Energy Saving Trust. A modern, energy-efficient and well-maintained boiler is a good place to start when looking to reduce consumption and expenditure.
Proper insulation can significantly reduce heat loss and therefore reduce bills. Roof and loft insulation, cavity wall and floor insulation, insulating tanks, pipes and radiators and energy-efficient windows can all save energy.
Smart meters for gas and electricity can help keep track of energy use more easily than conventional meters. A national rollout of smart meters is under way, although there is uncertainty over when it will be completed.
There are a number of options for homeowners to generate their own electricity, such as solar and wind turbines. Heat can also be generated using solar, biomass and air and ground source technologies.
The Energy Saving Trust recommends that homes are made as energy efficient as possible before new systems are installed, such as through insulation and the energy-efficient use of appliances, lighting and water.
A few simple fuel-saving techniques could help conserve energy and cut transport costs.
Avoiding unnecessary braking and acceleration can conserve fuel. Keeping speed reasonable and shifting to a higher gear early – at around 2,000 RPM – when driving manual vehicles can also reduce consumption. Efficient driving techniques can also improve range in electric vehicles.
Many modern petrol or diesel cars have automatic start/stop systems that kick in when a car is stationary, which can help save fuel. If driving a car without the feature switch the engine off if stationary for more than a minute or two.
Keeping tyre pressures at the correct level, removing accessories like roof boxes or bike racks when not in use and clearing out excess or unneeded items from inside can also reduce consumption.