Being eco-friendly is first and foremost about your carbon impact on the world we live in, but it can also have a great financial effect too. Being smart with how you use your gas and electricity, making your home more efficient and helping out the environment is a great way of lowering your bills and increasing your savings. On this page you’ll find a number of ways in which you can improve your eco-friendliness and claw back some of the money that leaves your account each month.
- Switch to LED lightbulbs
Switching your lightbulbs is a huge saver. In the average household, roughly 25% of your electric bill will be made up of lighting costs. This is a huge figure for the amount of electricity that should really be used. Lighting your home is not a big energy-user. The main reason why this is still the case, is that many homes, especially older builds, are still installed with incandescent lighting technology, which is far more inefficient that what we have today.
Just by switching a lightbulb from incandescent to LED, you will use anywhere between 75-90% less electricity instantly. It is not as if this is a huge investment either: LED lightbulbs can be bought for as little as £1 from DIY shops.
2. Increase light and/or heavy insulation
Increasing your insulation doesn’t have to mean spending thousands of pounds on heavy insulation for your walls and roof, although that does help. Insulation can be anything from a carpet to heavier curtains. Any thick material that will get in the way of heat leaving your home all goes towards your insulation and is an important part of your household efficiency.
Targeting the rooms that you spend the most time in can also be a great way to focus your budget. If you spend a lot of time in your living room, you should perhaps buy some thicker curtains to stop heat from leaving through your windows. Another idea would be to buy a thicker, fluffy rug that will act as a barrier between the heat and its escape route.
Increasing your insulation levels means that you aren’t wasting as much money heating or cooling your home. It’s important that your home has good temperature retention in order to keep your central heating and air conditioning bills to a minimum.
3. Switch your energy tariff
People across Great Britain have been able to switch their energy tariffs for almost 30 years, but a suprising amount of people don’t really know why you’d bother. There are hundreds of energy suppliers operating across the country, all with different pricing structures. The cheapest tariff on the market and the most expensive can have hundreds of pounds worth of difference between them, even as much as £800 per year. Most comparison engines can now switch you over with as little as your name, address and bank details. Also, thanks to OFGEM regulations, you can also be safe in the knowledge that your switch will take no longer than 21 days to be fully completed. You will also then have a 15 day period in which you are legally allowed to change your mind about your purchase. This is what’s called a ‘cooling off period’.
So, how does this make your home more eco-friendly? Well many suppliers are now providing 100% renewable energy tariffs, which directly remove your usage from the fossil fuel demand. By doing this you are increasing the funding and support for renewables, all whilst saving yourself hundreds of pounds per year.
- Switch to a water-saving shower head
Taking showers is the third biggest water user within the family household, just behind toilets and washing machines. Nobody’s perfect; some of us like taking longer showers, but little do we know just how much those extra few minutes are costing in both electricity and water. The average shower in the UK lasts around 8.2 minutes and uses 65 liters. That’s 8 liters per minute!
Getting a shower head that complied with the ‘Water Sense’ rating will make sure that your shower head uses no more than 2 gallons per minute, which, although still high, is a damn site better than the majority of average shower heads. Making this switching could save you tonnes of money in electric and water over the year.