Category Archives: Energy

A Brief Guide To “Going Green”

Check out these 18 easy to understand ways that you could make your life that bit greener – by Geoff.

  1. Encourage/support local “green” activities, clubs, societies, trades, buy food from local growers.
  2. Be informed about energy use,  eg can you read your meters and understand your bill?
    Know how much energy each appliance uses and costs, Turn off unnecessary lights and appliances especially heaters.
  3. Insulate, also make sure your thermostats are correctly set. Boiler serviced?
  4. Know a little about energy (see Ladybird books!) eg do you understand that for every unit of electricity generated power stations burn at least 2.5 units of fuel. On Shore wind generators are the cheapest source of electricity, Off Shore are the dearest – not counting the long term liability of nuclear waste.
  5. Have solar panels both Photo-voltaic & Water heating. (I’ve had solar water heating for 30years – it works).
  6. Know about ground source and air source heating systems and where they are/are not a good idea.
  7. DIY – all sorts, keep your eyes open and learn new skills as a matter of common sense.
    Plant Trees, Grow Veg …Potatoes, Carrots, Onions, Beans Broad/Runner/French, Lettuce,  Radishes, Tomatoes.
  8. Compost garden and household waste, think about having a greenhouse. Conserve water, Install water buts, what about Grey Water?
  9. Use up leftovers, Don’t throw food away.
  10. Keep chickens – last year my 3 hens laid 991 lovely eggs.  – app. £250 at shop prices.  Those birds cost £7 each and their feed totalled less than £40 p.a.
  11. Ride Bikes also Walk – for health, enjoyment, saving car use.  Excepting in bad weather, cycling can and should always be easy, comfortable and enjoyable if it isn’t get help.  (Research has shown that cycling can put off body ageing by many years)
  12. Driving sensibly reduces wear and improves mpg – Some cars have an mpg meter. They ought to be standard in every car.
  13. Think about disposing of anything – there is no such thing as throw away, somewhere someone has to do something with it!
  14. Recycle where possible,  put “it” on Ebay, Freegle, or offer to charity shops.
  15. Print (computer paper) on both sides when suitable.
  16. Complain about things that are wrong  eg  whenever food growing land is taken for any sort of development. Bad design eg new houses where living rooms don’t see the sun, attics don’t allow for use as storage, roofs unsuitable for solar panels, not well insulated, gas boiler fumes output below head height, garages with no person door no room for bicycles freezer or garden tools …. the list goes on and on
  17. Save Xmas card blank page eg for use as lists etc.
  18. Holiday less abroad and more in UK.

These are just a start.  You can probably think of many more opportunities. 

Green Homes Wanted for 2015!

Green Homes Wanted – en-form Press Release 2nd June 2015

Have you had solar panels installed on your home, or perhaps a wood burning stove or a heat pump, in fact anything that makes your home greener and energy bills cheaper, then environment group en-form wants to hear from you.

 
Working with local environment groups and Councils, en-form will be holding Green Open Days on weekends throughout Essex, in September .
 
Andrew Wilkinson of en-form said ‘Green Open Days are like the familiar Heritage and Garden Open Days. Householders who have implemented green measures to their homes or lead a green lifestyle and would like to spread the word are invited to open their doors to the public to share their experiences.  After running a successful event last year we’re back again covering the whole of Essex! ’
 

Last year 20 homes opened around Colchester and we’re hoping to beat that this year. If you are interested in participating or know someone who is and your home is within Essex, please contact en-form on 01206 367776, greenopendays@en-form.org.uk or website  essex.greenopenhomes.net

New Service to Cut Energy Bills

Local Charities en-form and Signpost are working with Colchester Borough Council to reduce energy bills for local residents.

They are currently running a Government funded project to review consumers energy bills and then to offer free, impartial and unbiased advice on alternative tariffs. If you decide to switch they will even arrange this for you.

Although the service is open to anyone it is aimed at those who have never switched energy providers and don’t feel confident enough to do so.

Andrew Wilkinson of en-form said ‘Savings of up to £200 are available, although the most we have saved a customer so far was £149. Apparently, almost 60% of consumers have never switched. ‘

There are many reasons why people do not switch including being unsure of the process, unable to receive impartial advice, no access to the internet or finding the process complicated. This service will arrange everything for you and then let you decide if you want to switch.

If you would like to benefit from this service or know someone who could, please telephone en-form on 01206 367776 or e-mail info@en-form.org.uk They will be visiting most local areas over the next few months.