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Energy and your carbon footprint

ecobirmingham are here to help you take steps to live a greener lifestyle. Let’s talk about energy.

There are many simple changes you can make around the home to reduce your energy bills as well as reduce your carbon footprint:

  • Turn off electronic devices – the easiest way to decrease your energy consumption is to turn off and/or unplug electronic devices and chargers when you are not using them. Items left on standby can use up to 85% of the energy they would when switched on.
  • Switch to energy efficient light bulbs – Compact fluorescent lights (CFLs) and light-emitting-diode bulbs (LEDs) use about 75 percent less energy than a comparable standard light bulb.
  • Switch to energy efficient appliances when you and appliances when next changing – you can save up to 40-50% energy for each individual appliance! Look out for the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC), which rates appliances on a scale from G-A (sometimes A++), with A being the most energy efficient.
  • Improve insulation – If you own your own home, improving insulation is a great way to reduce your energy usage. Loft insulation, wall insulation and double glazing can make a big difference – you can reduce 50% of your heat loss through windows by installing double glazing. Insulation can be costly, depending on how much you need to do, but will pay off in the long run. However, if you do want a cheaper place to start, draught-proofing doors and windows will also have a substantial impact on your energy consumption. This is also a more feasible option for those who rent their house.
  • Turn down your thermostat  – If you turn your thermostat down just 1 degree it can result in huge savings. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that you can cut your heating bills by £75 per year using this method.

Besides decreasing the amount of energy you use, it is also worth considering where your energy comes from. Traditionally green energy tariffs were seen as the most expensive. This is no longer the case. Green tariffs work by a supplier promising to match all or some of the electricity you use with renewable energy, which it then feeds back into the National Grid. The more people who sign up to a green energy tariff, the bigger the percentage of green energy in the national supply. At the moment, 25% of the electricity in the country comes from renewable green sources, such as wind, solar and the sea. Why not help contribute to the green energy revolution!

Going on a green tariff may also be cheaper than your current energy plan – check out the links below to help you compare your current supplier with green ones:

 

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