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Live in a Greenhouse

You will probably be aware of the large amount of publicity surrounding the Great British Refurb at the minute. Headed by Grand Designs’ own Kevin McCloud, the Refurb is a national campaign to convince us all to live greener and for the government to built more energy efficient homes. By energy efficient what we essentially mean is homes that produce as little carbon emissions as possible. Carbon is produced every time we use an energy source in our home whether it be to heat it, to cook, to watch TV or even turn on a light. You can reduce the carbon footprint of your home by following the ten easy steps below.

Tip 1 – Insulation

You can help to stop heat escaping by installing cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. You can lose up to 35% of the heat from your home through the walls and up to 25% through the roof.

Tip 2 – Heating

Don’t overheat your home. Use your heating to reach the temperature you need and make sure you know how to use the controls properly. If your house is too hot, don’t open the windows – turn the thermostat down instead. Reducing the temperature by just 1°C can cut your fuel bills by up to 10%.

Tip 3 – Hot Water

Insulate your hot water cylinder with a lagging jacket and if it has a thermostat, make sure it is set to the recommended temperature of 60°C. Having a shower uses much less water than a bath.

Tip 4 – Lighting

Low energy light bulbs are ideal for lighting the rooms you use the most. They cost a little bit more to buy but last up to 15 times longer and use a quarter of the electricity of ordinary bulbs.

Tip 5 – Cooking

Keep saucepan lids on when cooking to reduce condensation and energy. When cooking vegetables, use just enough water to cover them. Using the microwave instead of the oven will also save money.

Tip 6 – Washing

Using a 40°C washing machine cycle rather than a 60°C cycle means you use a third less electricity. Use the economy setting where possible and use the half load setting when you have a small quantity to wash.

Tip 7 – Fridges and Freezers

Defrost fridges and freezers regularly. Don’t leave the door open for longer than necessary and don’t put hot food in – let it cool down first. When buying a new fridge or freezer, look for the energy rating. The most efficient appliances and the cheapest to run are given an “A” rating.

Tip 8 – Switch It Off

Turning off your TV, video and hi-fi instead of leaving them on standby could save the equivalent of 60% of the electricity you use playing music or watching your favourite soap. The money saved could be put towards some brand new CD’s.

Tip 9 – Windows

Draw your drapes and curtains in the evening to stop heat being lost through the windows. Take care not to drape curtains over radiators. Lined curtains will help stop heat escaping.

Tip 10 – Make use of the free help at hand.

For even more energy saving advice you can call Energy Efficiency Advice Service FREE on 0800 33 22 33. Run by Scottish Power, their advisors will be able to give you information on the grants and products available to help you make your home warmer and more comfortable.

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