Reducing your Energy Consumption

Reducing your carbon footprint and your household energy bills is easy with a few quick steps.

1. Improve your energy efficiency

There are some really simple ways that you can improve the energy efficiency of your home. For example, ensuring lights are turned off when you're not in a room, turning the hot water temperature down, taking showers and not baths, fitting draft excluders on doors and re-sealing your old windows. 

Using a smart meter is also a good idea. For those with a bigger budget you can buy internal or external cladding to make sure your home is well insulated.

2. Switch to energy efficient light bulbs

It's an easy change to make and it can make a huge difference. 18% of household energy use comes from lighting and LED lights can be up to 90% more efficient that traditional bulbs.

LED bulbs last up to ten times longer than compact fluorescents and far longer than typical incandescents. They are available in a range of watts, colours, bases and shapes, with dimmable controls, each having specific uses in various application areas. See our guide to light bulbs.

3. Choose a Greener Tariff

If you are on a 100% renewable tariff, your supplier will add sufficient renewable energy to the pool to match what you are taking out.

Our Best Buys for green electricity and gas tariffs are Ecotricity and Good Energy, both source 100% renewable energy.

Of the big six energy companies SSE uses the highest mix of renewables (although they don't offer an individual green tariff). See our guide to gas & electricity suppliers

4. Choose an efficient boiler

Both new and replacement boilers must, by law, be high-efficiency condensing boilers in the UK. These can reduce CO2 emissions by up to 30% and heating bills by 40% compared to old-style conventional boilers. 

Condensing boilers are the most efficient as they convert over 90% of the fuel they use into useful heat, compared to around 60% for an old-style boiler. See our guide to gas boilers. 

5. Look at installing solar panels

Solar panels replace carbon-releasing energy sources such as oil and gas. These carbon savings quickly compensate for the greenhouse gases released in their manufacture and transport.

Buy quality solar panels that produce more power per surface unit (performance) and that sustain this performance over time. Solar panels age naturally and their performance reduces, but the speed at which it does, varies quite a lot.

Feed-in-tariffs were reduced last year, so payback time of the initial investment has increased considerably, despite the price of solar panels themselves falling dramatically. See our guide to solar panels. 

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