Category Archives: Green tips

Impressive New Tech Innovations for Green Building

Guest post by Ann Carr*

Both green building and energy saving initiatives are huge drivers in the fight against global warming, and every year new innovations burst onto the commercial market promising to save natural resources and ensure home owners spend less money on utilities. Here we list some of the latest technology that could help UK homes achieve Zero Net Energy status.

Sense home energy monitor

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For some time now we’ve been able to measure the total energy output from our homes – but how about a device which can tell you exactly which individual appliance is using what – and in real time? In other words – a tracker which can pinpoint the appliances you need to get rid off right away, replace, or at least learn to lessen their use. That’ll be the Sense Home Energy monitor then. This clever piece of kit can monitor current and voltage at one million times per second.

 Remote Dodecahedron from Nanoleaf

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This Bluetooth-enabled remote control for up to 12 different activities in your home (one for each side) is activated with the flick of a wrist – just turn to the side you want to trigger eg lighting, heating or TV etc. The beauty is that instead of having 12 different apps to operate the technology, you can do it all with this one easy-to-use product which, because it’s different colours light up when it gives you feedback, the Remote Dodecahedrom looks cool too. It weighs just 0.13 kilograms and was due to be released February 2018.

 Zero Net Energy buildings

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Buildings which produce more energy than they use were big in 2017. This year they’re going to be huge. And it’s a trend we predict will grow with each passing year – In the UK all new built homes will be Zero Net Energy by  2030, and  according to the UK Green Building Council, all existing buildings will need to be Zero Net Energy by 2050.

A fine example of a Zero Net Energy rated home is the D10 Aktivhaus by Werner Sobek (pictured above). Not only does this 914 square foot home have enough clean energy for itself and two electric cars, but can also power next door. The remote-powered smart energy system also learns its owner’s habits and adapts accordingly. The photovoltaic roof produces 8,300 kilowatt-hours of solar energy every year.

Retrax solar solutions

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And on the subject of solar (roofing is the biggest segment in exterior green building products, after all), you can now take your solar panels with you when you move. It’s all thanks to Aquarius Brands and their portable Retrax Solar system. This comes as a package of prewired panels which can simply be set-up and switched on within half an hour of them arriving. They’re equally as easy to uninstall and take on your way. With innovations like this, it’s no wonder solar is predicted to grow 13.5 per cent annually to 2020.

The Haiku Designer Series LED light

 

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How about an LED light fixture that’s so smart it knows when to dim itself or get a bit brighter as the light begins to fade? This Haiku Series LED intelligent lighting can even help you get to sleep. Schedule it to its dimmest setting (there are 16 different settings) and it’ll fool your body into thinking it’s effectively night time. As a result you’ll release the chemical melatonin – the one which helps us nod off.

SelectCycler house ventilation system

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Hard to believe right now, but there may come a time in the UK this summer when we desperately need cooling down in our homes. If so, the programmable Panasonic’s SelectCycler is just the thing since it’s designed to ventilate the entire home – simply and at little expense. That’s because it detects where the air is coming from and enables it to flow throughout the home (rather than blasting out cool air exhaust-style) like traditional ventilation systems.

Bosch Greentherm 9900i SER

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There’s nothing thankless about this tankless heater from one of the world’s leading electrical manufacturers. The Greentherm 9000 Series unit is incredibly efficient, has a smart glass front and integrated Wi-Fi allowing it to be controlled remotely via a mobile app.

Tankless units like this heat the water via combustion as it flows through the heat exchanger. Hot water is achieved via hot gases which then cool down outside. The hotter the gases, the less energy used to heat the water and the more efficient the boiler is.

*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.

Author Bio

Ann Carr is a representative of Anwyl Homes, a UK house builder based in Flintshire, North Wales. For more information see: www.anwylhomes.co.uk.

 

How To Encourage Wildlife Into A Suburban Garden

Image by Antranias CC0

Image by Antranias CC0

Guest post by Ruth Bradshaw*

Encouraging wildlife into a suburban garden can be tricky, especially when space is at a premium. Here’s are some simple things you can do to make your garden more appealing to wildlife.

Keep out the toxins!

Harmful ingredients can be found in weed killers, pesticides and slug pellets as well other shop bought ‘garden remedies’ Read the label if you aren’t sure!

  • Use crushed eggshells to deter the slugs from your seedlings and small or extra tasty plants.
  • Spray plants with a diluted natural homemade insect repellent instead of chemically laden readily available pesticides. Here is a simple recipe: dilute 1/100 tea tree, rosemary and citronella in water.
  • Regularly check plants for caterpillars and other bugs, pick them off by hand.

Create sheltered ‘wilder’ areas

Wild areas are a chance for native plants to grow, leaves to gather and for little nooks and crannies to naturally form where insects love to live.

  • Stack up old timber, encourage leaves to gather around it and create a space that insects and small mammals can forage in and shelter from the elements.
  • You could even add a bee or insect hotel to your borders.
  • Put up a nesting box for birds to rear their young.

en-form insights: Colchester Zoo has an excellent How To if you want to make your own Insect Hotel.

Hang bird feeders in the trees

If you have cats then please don’t do this! Your aim is to support the local bird population, not to expose it to danger.

  • Fat balls and stuffed coconuts are great through the winter and seed feeders and bird tables are great for the rest of the year round.
  • Consider putting in a pond or small bird bath. It is fun to watch the wildlife and if you are lucky enough to get tadpoles, to watch them grow.

Plant for the local wildlife

It is important to plant for local wildlife so choose native plants that suit your soil and local climate.

  • Choose flowers and scented plants for the insects to come and feed on, especially the bees.
  • Plant a tree or grow a hedge for wildlife to shelter in.

Support local wildlife initiatives

Sign up to a local conservation initiative near you or support one of the national initiatives such as RSPB who have some great tips on their website here. Whatever you do, no matter how tiny your outdoor space you really can have and make a difference to our native wildlife so do go out there and get wild!

*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.

Author Bio

Ruth Bradshaw  is the owner of complimentary therapy business Talk To All Animals, based in Colchester. She is super passionate about making a difference to animal and human relationships and quality of life, and has been an advocate for animals since she was a small child. Ruth is interested in environmental and bio-diversity issues, and likes to do her bit from recycling to using a compost bin in the garden; however small a difference – she is making one.

You can find Ruth on: Website: TalkToAllAnimals.com Instagram: @RuthyDoolittle Facebook: @RuthyDoolittle

 

50 More Ways To Save Energy – Infographic

Intro by Guest Blogger: Maggie Baker*

Energy conservation efforts have made headlines over the last few years, but many people still don’t understand the importance of reducing energy consumption. Why should you make an effort to conserve energy at home? Here are some of the many benefits of living in an energy efficient home:

Lower Utility Bills

Utility companies charge customers based on the amount of energy that they consume during the month. Therefore, people who make an effort to reduce their energy use will spend less on utilities every month. How much can you save? Simply replacing traditional light bulbs with energy efficient bulbs in some of your home’s light fixtures can save you money, and if you sort out uncontrolled air leaks in your home, you’ll save even more!

Comfortable Living

Living in an energy efficient home is more comfortable than living in a home that wastes energy. Why? An energy efficient home that is properly insulated and does not have any air leaks, will be warmer in the winter and cooler in the summer. The temperature will also be consistent throughout the house, so there won’t be any rooms that are cooler or hotter than others.

Better For the Environment

Homeowners that live in an energy efficient home are doing their part to protect the environment. Reducing energy consumption allows us to save the world’s dwindling supply of natural resources and cut down on pollution. Lowering greenhouse gas emissions plays a big role in fighting the effects of climate change, which is why it’s so important now more than ever before to embrace an energy efficient lifestyle.

Are you ready to start saving energy? Fortunately, saving energy doesn’t have to be complicated. There are many different simple changes and upgrades that you can make to start saving today. Take a look at this infographic provided by Homeselfe to learn how to get started:

*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.

 

50MoreWaystoSaveEnergy

Top Tips for an Eco-Friendly Christmas

Image by StockSnap CC0

Image by StockSnap CC0

Guest post by Gemma Reeves*

Living an eco-friendly lifestyle does not stop at eating organic food or choosing organic and environmentally-friendly products, you can celebrate special occasions such as Christmas with an eco-friendly outlook  too.

Try these great tips:

1. Use eco-friendly decorations.

Ditch the commercial type of decorations you usually buy from department stores, and start crafting DIY (Do-It-Yourself) decorations.

For Christmas trees, you can either use a real, potted plant or create a minimalist Christmas tree with recycled paper, cardboard or from extra wood and materials that might just be lying around your house. Same thing goes with wreaths – you can create one from real plants and pine cones or with recycled paper.

Upcycle tip: You can even transform old, small toys and figurines into Christmas tree hanging decors using a cord and hook.

2. Prepare and plan a healthy feast.

If you are committed to celebrate an eco-friendly holiday, that means that you should also go for healthy, organic food. If you want to cook meat dishes, choose ethically reared organic-fed, and local if possible as products from intensive farming are known to have a negative effect on the environment.

3. Wrap your gifts with recycled products and materials.

Reusing is one of the best ways to reduce your impact on the environment. Make use of recycled paper and previous year’s wrappings to create presentable gift boxes. You can add some flare to your DIY gift wraps by adding seasonal natural features such as leaves and flowers fixed with some gardening twine.

4. Going on a shopping spree? Don’t forget your tote bag.

Whether you are shopping for gifts or for yourself, try to help save on plastics and boxes by bringing your own shopping bag (eco-friendly bags or tote bags) while you shop.

Did you know? 

“Research in Europe has shown that a paper bag must be used three times to compensate for the larger amount of carbon used in manufacturing and transporting it. 

Likewise a plastic “bag for life” must be used four times, and a cotton bag must be used 131 times.” BBC News

5. Take an Eco-Friendly Holiday

Opt out of the commercialism of Christmas altogether with an eco-friendly break. A staycation has a lower carbon footprint than hopping on a plane, however, if you are keen to expand your horizons, why not give locations such as Mexico or Cyprus a visit… known for  their use of natural resources and strong conservation programmes. You don’t just take in natural, scenic views of the place on these tours, but you also get to learn more about environmental habitats and the efforts involved to preserve them.

Make sure that you choose eco-friendly options when on your holiday too, such as taking public transport, cycling, and travelling by foot instead of taking a car. It may not cancel out your plane journey, but every little bit helps!

*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.

For more tips on having a more environmentally friendly Christmas check out our 25 Top Tips for a Green Christmas.

Author Bio:

Gemma Reeves is a seasoned writer who enjoys creating helpful articles and interesting stories. She has worked with several clients across different industries such as advertising, online marketing, technology, healthcare, family matters, and more. She is also an aspiring entrepreneur who is engaged in assisting other aspiring entrepreneurs in finding the best office space for their business.

Check out her company here: FindMyWorkspace

How to Reduce Your Home’s Carbon Footprint

Guest post by Dylan Snyder*

Homeowners today have the ability to reduce their carbon footprint with a combination of simple changes, modern tech, and practical green tips. The US’ Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) defines a carbon footprint as “The total amount of greenhouse gases that are emitted into the atmosphere each year by a person, family, building, organisation, or company.”

For homeowners across the globe, their carbon footprint is affected by things such as energy consumption, water usage, and even how much junk mail the household receives. To reduce a home’s carbon footprint, consider several green tips and tactics.

Reduce Energy Consumption from Heating Units

UK Power states that home heating is a large contributor to energy consumption and CO2 emissions, especially given the nature of the climate in the UK. Eliminating air leaks/drafts throughout a home is a good first step for reducing home energy consumption. Seal gaps around doors and windows to stop leaks. Increasing wall and loft insulation also keeps heat in and reduces energy use. UK Power also suggests placing aluminum sheets behind traditional radiators as an tried-and-true method to reflect heat back into the room.

For more tips on saving energy in your home check out these articles!

Switch to Eco-Friendly Light Bulbs

Ditch the old incandescent light bulbs and make the switch to CFLs (compact fluorescent lamps) or LEDs (light emitting diodes. Both CFLs and LEDs use up between 25-percent and 80-percent less energy than incandescent lights. In addition, CFLs and LEDs last up to 25 times longer than incandescents.

Use Less Water

The average American family uses approximately 300 gallons of water daily, while in the UK, the average usage for a six person household is about 200 gallons daily. The best ways for homeowners to begin to use less water in an effort to reduce their carbon footprint are:

  • Switch off the taps when brushing teeth
  • Take shorter showers and remember showers use less water than filling the bathtub – unless you use a power shower
  • Opt for energy-efficient, water-saving appliances
  • Use the water-saver features/cycles on dishwashers and clothes washers
  • Switch out old shower heads for energy-saving models
  • Fix leaks

Global Stewards reports that 13.7-percent of all household water is wasted because of leaks. Stopping water leaks not only helps to reduce the  home’s carbon footprint, but it also helps prevent the development of mould.

For more tips on saving water in the home check out:

Ten Top Tips for Saving Water in the Kitchen
Ten Top Tips for Saving Water in the Bathroom
Top Ten Tips for Saving Water in the Garden

Eliminate Junk Mail

Junk mail is not only is annoying, but the energy used to produce each piece contributes to your home’s carbon footprint. Eliminate or at least reduce the household’s junk mail by removing your name(s) from direct mailing lists.

Invest in a Programmable Thermostat and Energy-Saving Appliances

Any products that are designed to save energy, are ideal for homeowners looking to reduce their carbon footprint. These include but are not limited to refrigerators, washing machines, microwaves, and dishwashers. A programmable thermostat is essential, helping to save money each month as well as energy when programmed properly. Actual settings to maximize energy savings will vary by home size and other factors like use of ceiling fans, amount of home insulation, and type and age of heating, ventilation, and air conditioning systems.

Recycle and Reuse

Recycling programs have been in place throughout the world for several decades. Items such as plastic, glass, cardboard, and multiple varieties of paper can be recycled and then used to create other products in an effort to reduce resource consumption. At home, set up easy-to-use recycling bins and then follow your area’s recycling protocols.

Reuse what you can, especially items like plastic carrier bags. Take it one step further and bring your own non-plastic bags for shopping. Avoid “toss-away” items like paper napkins and plates and opt for linens and real plates.

Every homeowner can begin to reduce their carbon footprint with a few simple steps. Every little bit helps – you’ll feel better at the end of the day, and as an added bonus, you may find yourself with some extra savings each month.

*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.

#30 Days Green

This July, we challenge you to go green or at least a bit greener!

Admittedly we have stolen this idea from the Wildlife Trusts 30 Days of Wild but good ideas need sharing.

Its a very simple idea. Can you do something green every day throughout July? That’s 30 simple, fun and exciting (OK so some of them wont be that exciting) Random Acts of Greeness. We know. There are 31 days in July but you can have a rest on the 31st and reflect on all your good and positive actions and bask in your feelings of satisfaction.

What is a Random Act of Greeness?

A Random Act of Greeness is about implementing some easy, small changes to your lifestyle to help make the world a slightly better place at the end of the month. All you need to do is to take a simple, small Random Act of Greeness everyday in July for 30 days. You can have a rest on the 31st day and reflect on your achievements safe in the knowledge you have made the world a slightly better place.

You can use our ideas as inspiration (bear with us, we haven’t thought of 30 yet) or better still get creative and use your own. Please let us know your ideas so that we can share them.

Take the #30DaysGreen Challenge with en-form!

Keep up to date with our ideas and help us by making up your own simple, easy, green, eco friendly Random Acts of Greeness to inspire you and others throughout July (and beyond). Share them with us by leaving your ideas in the comments box and on our Facebook page using #30DaysGreen.

 

 

Planning an Eco-Friendly Home Renovation

Guest post by Stacey Cooper*

If your home is in need of an update, investing in environmentally sustainable or eco-friendly upgrades is not only good for the environment, it can be good for your wallet too – especially when you consider that over time, eco-friendly choices are likely to increase your home’s value too.

eco renovation

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Choose Your Flooring Carefully

One of the most costly areas of your home to renovate is flooring. Hardwood floors are amazing, but they are often expensive and could require a lot of maintenance in the long run. Rather than opting for expensive wood, which can also be a contributing factor in deforestation, go with bamboo flooring. Not only will you end up with high quality floors that are easy to take care of, that feel comfortable during summer and winter alike, and you’ll be able to rest easy knowing that the bamboo harvested for your home is a much greener option that hardwoods.

Opt For Planet- Friendly Paint

Repainting a room is not much work, if you prepare well and if you buy good quality paint, but have you ever thought to check whether your paint is eco-friendly or not? Low-VOC paint is perhaps a bit more expensive, yet it will protect your home and help keep the environment safe too. VOC – or volatile organic compounds in paint are not great for people in your home either – the fumes can cause dizziness and nausea, and it is not recommended for use around children or pregnant women.

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Pick Pre-Loved

Buying new furniture can be an expensive endeavour, but cheap furniture is not a good solution either – you will inevitably have to invest in it when it breaks, or replace it sooner than you would a quality piece of furniture. A good solution is to either upcycle and make your own reclaimed wood furniture pieces, or find pre-loved items at garage sales or in antique stores.

Let the Sunlight In

If your home is dark, you can either install more lights and lamps, which will up your energy usage and your electricity bill, in or you could install new windows, and skylights to use daylight as much as you can. Do be aware that windows are a major source of heat loss in the cold weather, so invest in “smart” windows. These use a small amount of electricity to control the nano-crystal coating which can be used as part of your climate control system.

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Insulation Is Essential

Even if you live in an exotic part of the world, you need insulation to help maintain the temperature of your home. If it is too cold, you need more energy to warm it up, and vice versa. With good insulation installed you will reduce your energy consumption on climate control, and save money!

*Please note that the views are that of the author, not necessarily that of en-form.

Author Bio

Stacey Cooper is a business consultant with a genuine love for the environment and living in balance with nature. She is a full-time mom with a passion for writing and providing useful tips on how to stay healthy in unhealthy times, as well as how to be more green. She also enjoys reading and cooking for her family and friends.

7 Steps to Stop your ‘Junk’ Mail 

Many of us receive unwanted junk mail these days. Astonishingly it is thought to make up to 4% of household waste.  However, it is very easy to reduce this waste with minimum effort and at no cost by following these 7 simple steps.

1.  Register at the mailing preference society. This will remove your name from up to 95% of mailing lists used by companies who send out direct mail. The easiest way is to register online at www.mpsonline.org.ukMake sure you register everyone individually who wants to be removed in your houehold. Also dont forget to register anyone who is deceased or no longer living at your address to stop this unwanted mail as well. Mailing Preference Society, Freepost 22, London W1E 7EZ. Tel 0207 766 4410. Fax 0207 976 1886.

2.  Return junk mail unopened (write please remove from mailing list on the envelope and post back. You do not need to use a stamp for gone aways) or use the freepost envelopes inside the mailings with the request to remove you from the mailing list. Enclose original documents to enable the organisation to trace your details.

3. Return items as gone away or deceased when you receive mail for previous occupants or if the recipient has died or you will continue to receive mail.

4. When you apply for, or buy any service such as a bank account, if you do not want to recieve mailings from the organisation, make sure you tick the mailing opt out box normally located on the bottom of the form. Or if you have ordered items on the internet make sure you opt out of paper mailings.

5.  Stop unaddresed mail and leaflets delivered by the Royal Mail by opting out at this website However, if you opt out you may not receive government or local authority leaflets distributed by the Royal Mail either. 

6.  To stop mailings from any company with whom you have – or have had – a customer relationship such as your bank, credit card company, insurance company, phone supplier, for example, you will need to request them not to send you anymore marketing mailings. Do this either by returning their mailings marked “No more marketing mailings please” or by emailing them. 

7.  Putting a ‘No Junk Mail’ sticker on your letterbox can cut down on flyers, leaflets and newspapers coming through your door.

To order a free “No Junk Mail” sticker, email waste.management@essex.gov.uk or call 0345 603 7625.

Save Energy (and Money) in your Home – 40 Amazing Tips!

Heating

Central Heating & Thermostatic Controls

  1. Turn your thermostat down by just 1 degree centigrade. This will cut 10% off your heating bill. You should normally set your central heating thermostat between 18 & 20 C. If you are not at home turn the thermostat down to a low setting such as 10 degrees centigrade just to protect your property from the effects of freezing. Cost : £0. Annual saving: up to £60
  2. Let the sunshine in. On a sunny day, opening your curtains will let warmth into your house, but when it’s colder or the sun goes down don’t forget to close them to keep that heat in. Cost : £0
  3. Keep your radiators clear. For example, don’t put a sofa in front of your radiator, because it will absorb a lot of the heat. Cost : £0
  4. If your radiators are fixed to the outside wall, put radiator panels behind them to reflect the heat back into the room.
  5. For properties with high ceilings, placing a shelf just above the radiator helps to deflect the heat into the centre of the room rather than it drifting straight up to the ceiling.
  6. Fit thermostatic controls to your radiators and a timer to your boiler to ensure heat is provided when and where it is needed.
  7. Get cosy. Wearing more jumpers, socks and slippers around the house, and putting an extra blanket on the bed means you won’t be tempted to turn the heating up.

Hot Water

  1. Most people have their hot water setting at too high a level. Set your hot water to 60 degrees centigrade. Cost : £0. Annual saving : £15 per year
  2. And dont forget to use a plug in your basin or sink to prevent a wasteful use of hot water. Particularly when washing up. Cost : £0. Annual saving £15 per year.
  3. Insulate your water tank to keep your water hot for longer.
  4. Keep your showers to less than 10 minutes – or invest in a shower monitor to keep an eye on how much hot water you’re using.

Appliances

Electric appliances

  1. Switch off electric appliances (this includes TVs, videos, stereos, computers, cordless phones, electric toothbrushes.) at the plug when not in use. Switching off by the remote control and leaving appliances on standby or on charge when not neccessary wastes energy. However, make sure your appliance does not need to be left on to operate or maintain memory functions such as a Sky box. Cost : £0
  2. Don’t forget also, to switch off lights when not in use. (It has been estimated that if everyone did this it would save enough energy to power a town like Colchester.) Cost £0
  3. Whenever you buy a new appliance, first of all make sure you need it and make sure it is suitable for your needs. If you do need to buy an appliance make sure it is an energy efficient one. An ‘A’ rated appliance tends to use only half the energy of a ‘G’ rated model.
  4. Laptops typically use 85 per cent less electricity over a year than desktop PCs. Choosing a laptop over a desktop and reducing standby could save up to £17 per year.

Electric appliances – Fridges and Freezers

  1. Check door seals. They should be able to grip a piece of paper tightly If the don’t they need replacing.
  2. Keep the fridge at 2-3 C and the freezer at -15 C . Use a fridge thermometer to check the temperature
  3. Load and unload your fridge as quickly as possible and don’t leave the fridge door open for longer than you need to.
  4. Keep the fridge away from any other heat sources such as a cooker, ideally near any outside, cooler wall
  5. Make sure the air flow at the back of the fridge is not blocked or limited.
  6. Get the feather duster out from time to time.  When dust gathers on the condenser coils at the back of your fridge, it uses more energy.
  7. Defrost the fridge regularly.
  8. Keeping them full means they don’t have to work as hard and therefore they use less energy. Empty space in your fridge or freezer wastes not only space but energy too.
  9. Don’t put hot food in the fridge, it messes up the temperature inside. Leave it to cool naturally first.

In The Kitchen – Cooking

  1. Only heat the amount of water you need. Use boiled water immediately rather than leaving it for a while and then re-boiling.
  2. Use the kettle to boil water for cooking, instead of heating a pan on the stove. It’s quicker and uses less energy.
  3. Put well fitting lids on pans.
  4. Don’t have gas flames so high they lick the sides of pans.
  5. When using an electric cooker use absolutely level bottomed pans or pots which are the correct size to cover the rings.
  6. Try using a pressure cooker. Cooking a roast chicken in a pressure cooker takes approximately half the time it would need in an oven, and it’s especially good if you like your roast falling apart. As an optional extra you can crisp it up a bit by putting it in the oven for around 15 minutes afterwards.
  7. Use the microwave instead of the oven – it cooks food quicker and so uses less energy. Microwaves often provide a much more energy efficient way of cooking food than in the oven. This is because microwave ovens use energy to directly heat your food, whereas electric ovens must also heat the air inside the oven.
  8. Heat your home with cooking. Leave the oven door open after cooking to let the heat warm your kitchen. The oven might give off enough heat for you to adjust your thermostat, a far more efficient use of that stored heat than throwing it out of your home with an extractor fan.
  9. Save time and stock up. If you’re going to use the oven, bake a few meals at a time to get the most out of having your oven on. After all, oven’s allow us to heat more than one shelf at a time so why waste your heat?

In The Kitchen – Washing

  1. Try to ensure the washing machine is full when you use it. If it isn’t use the half-load setting. If you can, do the week’s laundry in one go and put a full load into the machine.
  2. Use low temperature washes whenever possible.
  3. Hang up your laundry. Try to air – dry clothes naturally on a clothes line or clothes horse, rather than by a tumble dryer, particularly if there’s warm or windy weather. What’s more nothing smells fresher than air-dried clothes.
  4. Use ecoballs in the tumble dryer. They spread out your washing so your clothes dry quicker.
  5. As tempting as it is, don’t dry clothes on the radiators. It makes your boiler work harder than it needs to.

Other Energy Savers

  1. Use your curtains wisely. Open your curtains to let more light in instead of switching on lights. Close your curtains at dusk however to prevent heat escaping through your windows. Cost : £0. Annual saving £15 per year
  2. Stop draughts. Check out our top ten tips to preventing draughts

Stop Draughts – 10 Simple Tips

Stopping draughts can be a very easy and cost effective way to help save energy, make your home more comfortable and reduce your heating bills.

Draughts can cause heat to escape from almost everywhere in your house but particularly through windows and outside doors.

Our top 10 helpful tips are:

  1. Check the fit of all your windows and outside doors – make sure there are no gaps
  2. Fit a draught excluding flap behind your letter box and cover the keyhole
  3. Remember to insulate your loft hatch or door and fit draught-proofing around its edges
  4. Put metal or plastic draught-proofing strips around the sides of the doors
  5. Fit draught excluders to the bottoms of doors (attaching strips securely so that they don’t trip you up)
  6. Fit plastic sheeting to window frames with double-sided tape or magnetic strip, for a cost effective form of double glazing. Make sure it is easily detachable so that you can escape in the event of fire
  7. Hang heavy curtains or curtains with thermal linings. When you draw curtains, remember not to cover radiators which are under windows.
  8. Use a floor board gap filler such as DraughtEx
  9. Insert insulation boards such as Celotex under floors 
  10. Seal the edges of fittings in walls (such as cat flaps and tumble dryer hoses) with expanding foam.

IMPORTANT

Always remember to leave ventilation for gas fires, boilers and coal fires. Never block ventilators or air bricks. They are there to remove fumes. Air circulation is necessary. Kitchens and bathrooms also need ventilation to avoid excess moisture building up