Pages Menu
Rss
Categories Menu

Most recent articles

5 Top Energy Saving Tips

Posted by in articles

As the winter rolls in, and electricity and gas prices continue to rise, now is a great time to change your habits and save yourself some money.

There are many things you can do to avoid wasting energy. Also, an added benefit is that it is good for the environment too.

What can you do to save money?

We have compiled a list of the 5 most effective things you can do to save energy and reduce your costs:

  1. Don’t leave appliances on standby
  2. Don’t just have a shower – have the right kind of shower
  3. Change to low energy light bulbs
  4. Insulate your loft
  5. Wash your clothes at 30 degrees and don’t use a tumble drier

Check out this video on YouTube to get their top 10 ways to save on energy:

Tip 1: Don’t leave appliances on standby

Televisions, dvd players, computers, and many other household appliances are often left on standby for convenience. However, did you know that not properly turning off these devices can account for up to 15% of your annual electricity bill. This could be up to around £100 a year. So, if you want to stop literally losing money while you sleep, then just make an effort to turn off these devices at the wall socket.

Tip 2: Don’t just have a shower – have the right kind of shower

Everyone knows that having a shower instead of a bath saves a lot of water (around 70%) and can be a real money saver. However, did you know that you can fit a special shower head and make even bigger savings on your gas and water bills? The water efficient shower heads only work with showers which get a supply of water directly from the boiler/hot water tank. They can save you around £150 per year across your water and gas bills.

Tip 3: Change to low energy light bulbs

LED technology has come a long way in the last few years, and LED lights in the home are now a viable option. They offer significant energy saving potential versus halogen lights. Also, if you still have traditional filament bulbs then you can replace these with CFLs, which are also more energy efficient. The initial cost of replacing these bulbs will take around 1.5 years to earn back in electricity bill reductions, but they are designed to last years, so you’ll be reaping the rewards from year 2 onwards.

clothes_lineTip 4: Insulate your loft

If you live in a house with a loft, then you’ve probably noticed how cold it gets up there in the winter. Just like you wear a coat to keep out the cold, you can effectively give your house a coat, by putting insulation in the loft. If you were to lay around 10 inches of insulation, you could save between £100 and £200 on your heating bill.

Tip 5: Wash your clothes at 30 degrees centigrade and don’t use a tumble drier

Just by turning the temperature dial down on your washing machine from 40 to 30 degrees, you could save around £15 per year. Your clothes will still be clean and fresh, but you’ll have a bit more money in your pocket – don’t put it in the wash though! Also, rather than use a tumble drier to dry the washing, you can dry it for free by hanging it out. Having a little more patience like this could save you another  £40 per year. Check out the government’s Energy Star website which has a list of the top, most efficient washing machines available today.

So, there you have it, a short list of highly effective energy saving tips, which you can put in to practice straight away to bring down your bills.

Happy saving!

Charles

 

Lightbulbs mage courtesy of domdeen / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

Washing line image courtesy of dan / FreeDigitalPhotos.net

How to Save Energy in Your Home?

Posted by in articles

With the rising prices of electricity and commodities in the market, you will always need to think of how you can save more money whether for emergency use or for your other expenses. There are lots of ways that you can easily practice to save on your utility bills even if you have a lot of electrically operated appliances in your home. Here are some tips that are commonly given but are not given so much attention to:

  • Turn off the lights when not in use. Having the lights on when no one is in the room will just be an added expense. This is one cause of increased energy usage in homes. Make a habit of turning off lights and train the children to do it as well and see how much your energy consumption will drop.
  • Take shorter showers. You may wonder how this can help in saving energy. If you are using a heater, then you will be consuming energy. Thus, shorter showers will help you save energy.
  • Unplug appliances when not in use. Electrical appliances use up electricity even when they are not in use. Just unplug them when you are not using them to help you save energy in your home.
  • Thermostat adjustments. Turning your thermostat to extremes, either for cooling or heating, may use up too much electricity. Adjust your thermostat to just the right temperature to save energy in your home. Insulating the home may just help you save more than what you will be spending for it.
  • Update your light bulbs. Use energy saving light bulbs that are now available in the market. This is what can help you save money. They use up less electricity but give the same amount of light or brightness.
  • Ironing clothes in bulk. If you regularly iron your clothes, plan to do a week’s load in one go to save on electricity costs. Plugging in the iron and waiting for it to heat up consumes a lot of electricity.

These are just some of the practical tips that you can try so that you can help you save energy in your home. Try switching to these power saving practices and see your utility bill dipping lower and your savings account balance growing.

Solar Power

You may also want to consider switching to solar power. You can actually check online on how you can benefit with this kind of energy source and how this can help you save energy in your home and have lifetime savings.

Solar Power

Solar Power is efficient and green

Solar energy gives you the electricity supply from sunlight. However, you have to invest in solar panels for you to have this energy source. But, your one time investment will pay off in the long run. The installation cost may be big, but you can actually get a grant from the government and will help you pay 50% of the total cost. After installation, you can have as much as 50% savings on your electricity bills. This can be a very cost effective way of saving energy in your home.

For more inspiration about using solar power check out Solar Network’s YouTube video:

In addition to checking out the UK government website for more tips, which I mentioned in a previous article, you should also look at the US website to see what they are advising and look for some inspirational ideas.

Home Electricity Saving Tips

Posted by in articles

There is wisdom in implementing ways to save on your power use at home. Aside from the obvious reason of saving more money, there is also the aspect of environment protection that you address when you are wise in the way you consume electricity. You do not have to spend a lot with all the gadgets and devices that are being marketed as energy-saving accessories today. You only have to make some changes in the way you use electricity in your own household.

Here are some simple and practical tips that you can do to save home electricity:

  • Do not use anything that consumes electricity unless you have to. In the modern household, it is unavoidable to use electric appliances and fixtures. More prudent use of these items will have to be practiced.
    • Start with the lights. Always turn them off when they are not in use. You can also consider going for new CFL or LED bulbs instead of using the old incandescent bulbs and fluorescent lamps. This site has an in-depth review for all things energy saving light bulb, from the bedroom to the kitchen.
    • Shorten computer usage time. You might consider using your computer for a limited amount of time and then turning it off afterwards. This applies whether you are using it for business or for personal purposes. Keeping it on to play games for hours or while you sleep is not wise at all.
    • Check your heating or cooling systems. Make sure that these are running optimally. Ill maintained air conditioners would cause the motor to work harder and consume more energy. The same goes for heaters. With poor insulation, your heater would have to work harder to keep your home warm and cozy.
    • Avoid using unnecessary electrical appliances. A hair dryer, for example, might not be necessary when you can air dry your hair. Similarly, hanging your clothes out to dry on a clothes line will save you from the electricity that running the laundry dryer will use up.
    • Wash clothes in bulk so you don’t have to run as many loads in your washing machine. Do not use warm water; use tap water instead. The heating system will use up home electricity that will increase your bills.
    • Regulate your fridge temperature. Turn it down to the lowest possible temperature. Note that your fridge is responsible for the 20% of your electricity bill. U Switch have a nice article on this subject, so check that out.

 

Save Energy - Switch Off Lights

Save energy with simple things

  • Consider using solar power or any other alternative power source. There are many benefits that you can enjoy by doing this. You can explore the available options in your state. It would also be a good idea to see if your state offers incentives for homeowners who use alternative power sources.

By ensuring that your household makes wise use of electricity, you are doing yourself and the environment a huge favor. If you would like to have a more in-depth look at some great ideas for saving energy, check out the official government’s website for more suggestions. If you are serious on saving your home electricity, these are just simple things that you can do at home that will give you the savings that you can enjoy. Try these things and you will surely be amazed with the savings that you will have with a lower electricity consumption in your home.

Home Insulation

Posted by in articles

In this post I would like to take a look at insulating your home, which materials to use and what is the most cost-effective way of achieving maximum heat retention this winter.

What to Insulate

There are many areas of your home which could be insulated but not all of them will give you the best return for your investment. Here are a list of the top 4 areas of your home you should insulate listed in order of importance by the level of heat that will be lost from each of them:

  1. Walls – 35% heat loss
  2. Roof – 25% lost
  3. Floor – 15% heat escapes
  4. Windows and Doors – 15% loss
foam insulation for the loft

Foam insulation for the loft

As you can see it’s the walls in the majority of cases that are going to be losing you the most heat. This would most definitely be true for a detached home but if you live in a terraced home it could be that the roof or windows and doors pose more of a problem because two side of your home are already joined to other homes.

The first thing to do is check what kind of insulation you already have in the roof and walls and if you have double glazing. The Energy Saving Trust have a wealth of information on this subject, all freely available over at their website.

How Much Insulation

It’s best to leave this up to the experts because they will need to look at a few factors to determine how much insulation material to use and where to give you the best value. If you are doing it yourself you could buy some rolls of insulation material from somewhere like Wickes or Homebase and cover the floor in your loft with it. That’s an easy first step to take in insulation.

If there were no space or budget limits then you would have as much insulation as possible because the more you have the better. It’s like wearing a thin coat compared to wearing a thicker coat. The thicker one is always going to provide much more insulation and keep you warmer but sometimes you can’t afford the larger one or fit it in your bag.

If you want more details and to look at options available to you head over to this place and check out what they have on offer.

Cost of Insulation

If you look at the cost of some forms of insulation you will soon find out that it isn’t cheap. From my research I have found that there are a few which are the best value for money, which I have listed below. The best news about this is that the cheapest one is also actually the best for the environment and your health. It isn’t going to be releasing any bad health causing fumes so should be a bet for use in your loft insulation.

Product Name Cost per Sq M
Loose cellulose (recycled) AKA Warmcel £12
Polystyrene Board £14
Wood wool (NOVOLIT) £33
Black Mountain sheep wool £46

Conclusion

Getting your home insulated will definitely help you save money on your heating bill this winter. Just how much depends mainly on how badly your home is insulated at the moment. You can save a lot of money if you have a poorly insulated home by just implementing a few ideas yourself, very quickly.

This was just a taster for way to insulate your home. If you would like to hear a little more from a very trusted source, check out the Energy Saving Trust’s YouTube channel for the latest ways to improve your energy use. Here is one of their latest videos:

Could a halogen heater reduce your energy bills?

Posted by in articles

As winter draws in there’s a couple of things that you start to miss. Firstly there’s the warmth, and then there’s the sun.

Luckily there’s something you can do.

Firstly, if you’re in a house, you can turn on your central heating, right? Only, then you’re heating the whole house racking up huge electricity or gas bills in the process. And you might only be in one room. It’s all a bit of a waste.

Or, if you’re not in the main house, you might be in the conservatory, or garage, or shed, or maybe even outside.

So, you can get a heater. Maybe a fan one. But they’re a bit noisy. So, no, scrap that. What about a gas one? Kind of heavy, kind of unnecessary?

In fact you should probably consider getting a halogen heater. Here’s why:

  • lower running costs (about 10% of a gas heater)
  • near silent operation
  • no harmful emissions
  • instant heat
  • no flammable fuel sources

That’s the warmth covered, then. But what about the sunshine. You miss that too. Luckily many halogen heaters act as a light source too and can output 10,000 lux, which is equivalent to daylight. So, you might even feel happier too!

Prem-I-Air halogen heater

Using a halogen heater could help reduce your heating bill

Which halogen heater should I choose?

Ok, you’re starting to see this makes sense, but which one?

A small one, big one, somewhere in between?

Well, it depends – basically on these factors:

  • Location (is this a room in the house, outside, or a shed?)
  • Size of the room/area (A small room, big room?)
  • Number of people (Is it just you, or a larger group – if so, the heater might need to rotate or pump out more heat across wider area)
  • How much you are willing to pay (upfront and ongoing) – the more power generally the more expensive the heater is to buy, and then to run as well.

So, let’s say you work in the garage, which is about 3 metres by 5 metres, and it’s just you, but you move around a lot. You probably want to consider a fairly powerful oscillator, something like the Prem-I-Air which offers 1600W and costs around £30.

Or, let’s say you have a small balcony, and you want to be able to site out there and have a drink in the evening with a significant other. You could look at a wall mounted option like the one offered by alfresia.co.uk, which offers 1500W and costs around £80

These are just some options based on example scenarios, but if you are looking for some advice and reviews to help you decide which heater to buy, then head over to the ‘Best Halogen Heaters’ comparison site.

Good luck finding the right heater for your needs

Charles

Should you switch your home to solar energy?

Posted by in articles

Over the last few years more and more solar panels have appeared on the roofs of UK houses. Around 25,000 homes are now harnessing the sun’s energy to heat their water and power their central heating.

The fact that it’s becoming more popular will naturally drive the prices down from suppliers of the panels. However, is now the time to jump on the bandwagon and invest in creating an eco-home? We’ve pulled out some of the key factors you need to consider when deciding whether or not to instal solar panels.

Is solar power right for your home?

Most properties can be fitted with solar panels. However, a large proportion of the roof needs to be south facing so that it captures as many of the sun’s rays as possible. If you live in a block of flats then solar panels are still an option, but the residents would need to get the agreement of the freehold owner before installing the panels.

How much does it cost?

It will likely cost between £10,000 and £15,000 to purchase and install  the panels. However, government grants can be obtained, which may reduce the cost by up to 50%. Once the panels are installed, you can expect a saving of around 50% on your water and heating bills.

Does it only work when it is hot outside?

The solar panels will still produce energy during the winter, and when there is partial cloud cover. The important factor is that it is bright, rather than hot Therefore, on an overcast day or during the night, the panels will not produce energy.

Will they look ugly?

The early solar panels produced in the 70s have dogged the industry due to their unsightly appearance. However, since then the appearance of the panels has improved dramatically. They are also now available in a range of different colours. Many people now recognise the solar panels as adding a touch of modern architecture to other wise dated houses.

house_and_car

You could lower your emissions by the equivalent of a car driving 70,000 miles a year

Do they really help save the environment?

A house with solar panels will produce approximately 40 tonnes less of CO2 emissions each year. For comparison, 40 tonnes of CO2 is roughly what is produced by a family car driven for 70,000 miles

Final thoughts

Although there has been a upward trend in the number of homes adopting solar energy in the last few years, the UK is still behind other countries. In Japan, there are approximately 500,000 homes with solar panels, but even this number only represents about 1.5% of the total number of homes.