Conserving electrical energy
Today the amount of energy we are consuming in our lives is a very topical issue. Many scientists believe that our increasing CO2 emissions are causing climate change. Whether or not you choose to believe this, conserving electrical use in your home can have a dramatic effect on your energy bill. With the cost of energy likely to rise due to shortages of oil, gas and coal, it is a good idea to look at your energy usage now in order to prepare for the future. Here is a short list of ways to cut down on your electrical consumption at home.
If you are serious about this, it is a good idea to get hold of a smart meter that can measure how much electrical energy you are using. OWL have a model on the market which costs £32.65 on Amazon. Smart Meter manufacturers claim
by using a meter you can save from 10% - 30% on your bill. Average savings are 10%-15% which converts to an annual saving of £400. The system works by attaching a sensor to the live feed of your electrical meter. There is also a wireless portable display that can operate up to 40m away from the sensor. Using this meter you can monitor the impact your cost saving measures are having from minute to minute and also over the course of the year.
Keeping appliances on standby so that we can conveniently switch them on with our remote controls is said to cost each household up to £37 a year. How many of us switch off our satellite receivers when we have finished with the TV? 85% of the energy used by a DVD player is consumed when not in use. The average home is said to have around 12 pieces of equipment left on standby or charging. A great way to ensure all equipment is switched off is to plug them into a 4 way extension kit. When you are finished with the computer or the TV, you can switch off just one switch and everything else will shutdown. For some it is not practical to be constantly shutting down their computer, but making sure the monitor is switched off could save you 60% of your computers normal use.
Switch off your mobile and MP3 charger when they are not in use. It is believed that if all chargers were switched off when they are not in use, the UK alone could save enough energy to power 115,000 homes. As long as the charger is plugged in, it is consuming energy which you can feel as they are warm to the touch after being left plugged in.
Switching to energy efficient light bulbs can save you up to £60 over the course of the lifetime of a bulb. They are usually a little more expensive to buy, however they last for much longer. Where a 100W bulb is required, the equivalent energy efficient bulb will use as little as 20w, a massive 80% saving.
Reduce the temperature of your fridge. They account for a staggering 20% of your electrical energy usage. You should try to set your fridge temperature as close to 2.5 Degrees as possible and your freezer to -18 Degrees. These are the recommended guidelines, anything below these temperatures is simply wasting energy.
You have probably seen the adverts, but switching to 30C when washing your clothes is actually a great way to save energy. Washing at 30C compared to 40C saves you 40% of your electrical usage. Modern washing powders are designed to be much more effective when washing at lower temperatures and many are now starting to advertise this fact.
Be sure to only use your tumble dryer when absolutely necessary. The Environment Agency estimates that £88m is spent every year in the UK on drying our clothes. If you can help it, try and hang your clothes outside and take advantage of the free Wind and Sun.
Make sure that any new appliances display either the Energy Saving logo or the American Energy Star logo. This will mean that they have been recognised to conform to modern energy saving standards and so at least when they have to be on they are using as little energy as possible.