Climate Change – Homes
In Epping Forest District, home emissions make up approximately 20% of our carbon footprint. These emissions come from heating, hot water, household appliances and lighting.
Reducing home energy consumption and improving efficiency not only helps the environment but it also helps to save money on energy bills and make your home more comfortable especially in the winter. Measures that save on heating bills have been shown to improve the health of householders especially for those more vulnerable to the cold, they will also help to protect against any future rises in energy prices.
Cost free ways to save energy:
- Switch off. Switching off lights when you leave a room saves energy. So does turning off and unplugging electrical items not in use. Did you know that the average household wastes around £86 a year simply by leaving appliances on standby?
- Think about your washing. By running your washing machine and dishwasher with a full load, washing in the coldest water you can, air-drying clothes rather than tumble drying and using the Eco setting on appliances you can reduce energy consumption and your bills.
- Check the temperature. Set your hot water cylinder to 60°C for the best efficiency. By turning down the thermostat by just one degree can save you money and still provide a comfortable environment.
- Switch your provider to certified renewable energy sources. Shopping around by using comparison sites can often help you save money when you switch tariffs too. If you are in rental accommodation and unsure if you can switch take a look at Ofgem’s advice page.
- Install a smart meter. This gives real time monitoring of your energy use so you can see what uses the most energy and adjust your usage accordingly. It also sends real time data to your energy supplier for more accurate billing. You can contact your supplier to see whether they’ll install one in your home.
Low cost ways to save energy:
- Insulate your hot water tanks. If you have a hot water cylinder, be sure it has a jacket at least 75mm thick, this is a low-cost option (approximately £15) but will save money on energy bills.
- Draught-proof your home. Draught-proofing doors, windows, floorboards, letter boxes and chimneys will keep your home warmer. The Energy Savings Trust has a draught proofing guide to help.
- Take control of your usage. Install a programmable room thermostat and radiator valves. You can programme your heating and hot water to come on only when you need them, with the right temperature for each room.
- Swap the lights. Energy saving LED bulbs last longer and save money over time as they use less power than standard light bulbs.
- Time it right. You can buy sensor lights and timers for occasional-use lights, so they aren’t left on longer than necessary.
- Shop wisely. When you need a new appliance, buy the most energy efficient that you can afford. According to Which? magazine, you can save up to £62 each year in electricity costs by choosing the most energy-efficient fridge/freezer over a cheaper model.
For many measures below low-income households could be eligible for grant funding, please see the further information links below for details of eligibility.
The Department for Energy Security and Net Zero have also launched the home retrofit phoneline service. This aims to provide consumers with tailored and impartial information on how to improve the energy performance of their homes. Advice is also available via their Find ways to save energy in your home webpage.
The free phone service 0800 098 7950 is available Monday to Friday, 8am to 6pm, Saturday 9am to 12pm, Closed Sunday and Bank Holidays.
- Insulation. Types include loft insulation, cavity wall insulation and solid wall insulation. These options range in cost but can make a big difference to the comfort of your home and save money on energy bills.
- Double glazing. Putting in new windows and thermally efficient doors can be expensive but will save you energy. Look to install double, or even triple, glazing throughout to make the biggest energy savings.
- Heat pumps. When it comes to replacing your boiler investing in a lower carbon alternative to your oil or gas boiler, such as an air source or ground source heat pump, could significantly lower your households carbon footprint.
- Renewable energy and low carbon energy. Look into adding renewable energy sources at home. Solar panels, wind turbines and heat pumps can all save you energy. Producing your own energy helps to protect against energy price rises, plus, some Government schemes and government backed initiatives are available to offset the cost of installations.