Are you looking to tighten your purse strings and save money around the home? If so, implementing green initiatives and reducing your energy output could be the way to go. A few eco-friendly changes should make a big difference to your bank balance and you’ll do your bit for the environment at the same time!
1. Replace your boiler
With energy costs on the rise, you might have already arranged a central heating service and taken out boiler cover, but have you thought about a system upgrade? Of course, this will cost you money initially, but replacing an old gas boiler with an A-rated energy-efficient condensing model could save you hundreds of pounds a year. It will also cut your home’s carbon emissions and prevent harmful gasses from being released into the air unnecessarily.
2. Save water whenever possible
In the UK, we’re lucky enough to have water on demand, but this can lead to a large amount of waste. Believe it or not, getting water to your taps takes a lot of energy (and therefore money), so try to use it sparingly. Always fill your washing machine and dishwasher to the brim before turning them on and only boil what you need in the kettle. What’s more, if your taps are leaking, get them fixed as soon as possible and take out plumbing cover to protect against burst pipes and other household emergencies. Another thing you could do is consider investing in an energy efficient water heating system.
3. Don’t leave your appliances on standby
According to a study by the Energy Saving Trust, standby power accounts for nine to sixteen per cent of average household energy bills – which come in at £530 a year. This is a significant proportion, so it’s a good idea to turn all appliances off at the wall whenever possible. A few flicks of a switch could shave a large amount off your utility bills and reduce your carbon footprint considerably. If you’re worried about leaving something on, plug your electrical products into a multi-socket extension and turn them all off in one go.
4. Turn lights off when you leave a room
It might be cold and dark outside at the moment, but that’s no reason to leave the lights on. Simply turn all switches off whenever you leave a room and you’re lighting bill – which accounts for around eight per cent of a typical family’s energy charges – should start to come down. Moreover, if you are still using traditional light bulbs, switch to more energy-efficient compact fluorescents or LEDs as soon as possible. Finally, try to open your curtains as much as possible and let the natural daylight illuminate your house when you can.
5. Protect your water pipes
Cold weather can cause water pipes to crack and burst. This is not good for your bank balance or the environment, so think about lagging your water system. Insulating materials such as foam tubes and British Standard jackets for hot water cylinders can be bought from many home stores and help to lock warm air inside the pipes. If your waterworks are damaged or a little on the old side, it’s worth getting them replaced and homeowners should consider plumbing cover in case of an emergency.
Green living is easier than you may think, so why not give it a go throughout 2013 and beyond?