Everyone can get involved in energy saving – and when whole communities start to think about the way they use power, heat their water and warm their homes, the cumulative effect can be enormous.
When it comes to saving energy, it’s not always about rushing out and buying expensive new appliances to lower energy costs and cut carbon emissions.
Simply making a few minor changes in your life can be one of the most effective ways to start energy saving and once you get going, you’ll soon be finding more and more ways for yourself to save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
Knowing how you use energy in your home – and how much – can be a bit of an eye-opener. Try standing next to the meter when someone switches on a kettle or an electric fire and just watch the units rack up! Once you realise how quickly some things around the house run away with the money, you’ll be much better placed to spot where you can begin to make a difference.
It’s also worthwhile starting to keep a careful eye on how much energy you’re using, so look at your bills carefully if you don’t already. You need to know how much you’re paying normally, so that you will be able to keep track of the changes once you implement your new energy saving regime.
Energy Saving Action
Today there is no shortage of information around to help with saving energy and it’s well worth using it. The Energy Saving Trust, for instance, provides guides and interactive online calculators, so if you work your way through the questions, they can give you some pretty specific suggestions as to how you can save energy in your own house.
Many local councils and energy suppliers have very good material available to help, while the manufacturers of energy saving products will be falling over themselves to show you how their appliances will save you money.
Collecting useful information and good sources of guidance can be especially valuable for communities and community-based projects. Not everyone will have access to the same information, so if everyone contributes what they can, the shared pool of knowledge can become surprisingly big.
Many of the most effective practical energy saving tips are, of course, very well known. As everyone is aware, avoiding the use of “stand-by”, switching to low energy light bulbs, only boiling as much water as you need, turning down the thermostat and making sure your loft and wall insulation is up to scratch are essential elements in any serious attempt at energy saving.
Community Energy Saving
When the whole community is involved, there are even more ways to try. One thing worth exploring is to see if you can use the advantage of numbers to get a better deal on energy saving products, devices of even fuel – buying in bulk isn’t just for the supermarkets!
If everyone who needs wood logs, for instance, bands together, your local supplier might be prepared to offer a discount on a really big guaranteed order. It’s an idea that you can extend to a whole range of products and services – from arranging a “service-day” for all the community boilers with your local CORGI registered engineer, to bulk purchasing an entire village’s supply of low-energy light bulbs.
All it takes is a little thought to see where you can make the savings – and a bit of cheek. It never hurts to ask – the worst that can happen is a “no” – and in today’s economic climate, it has got to be worth a try.
Saving energy effectively is as much as anything an attitude of mind and the more you think about it, the more energy, money and carbon emissions you’ll save. With a positive approach, coupled with a spot of useful advice from the likes of The Energy Saving Trust or your energy supply company, there are plenty of savings to be made.