How to save energy and reduce your carbon footprint at home?
In the UK, the average household uses 3,731 kWh of energy per year, costing roughly £610 if you consider the average national electricity prices. kWh (kilowatt hours) is the way energy is measured, for example, you could boil a kettle 10 times, or watch TV for 7 hours for 1kWh of energy usage. The cost soon stacks up.
However, price isn’t the only consequence of high electricity usage.
While the UK has incorporated more and more renewable energy sources into the total grid supply, around 40% of our total energy still comes from fossil fuels, which releases greenhouse gasses into the atmosphere when burned for energy. Aside from producing greenhouse gasses, non-renewable energy production also depletes resources from our planet which cannot be replaced once they are used, as the name suggests.
If we can switch to exclusively renewable energy whilst limiting our energy usage, we not only reduce our carbon footprint, but also limit the amount of expenditure we incur. With electricity prices rising, reducing energy consumption will quickly pay off.
5 ways to save energy in your home
There are many more ways to save energy, but these are our favourites which almost anyone can apply with ease.
1. Unplug appliances completely when not in use
Did you know that your appliances are still consuming energy even when they’re not in use? To prevent this, unplug your TV, laptop or microwave once you’re done using them – or simply switch them off at the socket. The energy saving trust estimates that 9 - 16% of electricity consumed in our homes is used to power appliances in standby mode.
2. Switch to LED lighting
One of the simplest ways to save energy, which will also save you a significant amount of money over the years with very little effort, is switching to LED bulbs.
LED lighting doesn't just have a lower energy rating than halogen equivalents – they also last so much longer.
3. Wash clothes at a cooler temperature
Most of your clothes and household textiles don’t need to be washed at 40 ℃, 30 ℃ will clean just as well and you’ll save a lot of energy since the water doesn’t need to be heated as much.
4. Get a smart meter installed
To become aware of your energy consumptions and see where you have the most room for improvement, install a smart meter. A smart meter is one of the best ways to view electricity (and gas) consumption in real-time, which means you’ll quickly see where you can save energy.
5. Cook with the lid on pans
This is one of our favourites. By putting the lid on pans when cooking, you’re preventing heat from escaping; this in turn allows the contents to heat quicker and therefore saves energy in the process. Also, if you only need to heat water, use a kettle to boil the exact amount rather than boiling it on an electric hob - it's far more efficient.