Your money-making expert. Financial journalist, TV and radio personality.
If you thought that simply turning off appliances was enough to save energy, think again. According to recent research, today’s connected homes are more power-hungry than ever, thanks to a multitude of devices that are always switched on at the wall or left running when not in use.
There are around 67 million people in the UK and each of these people is consuming record levels of energy, which all contributes to a rapidly changing climate. However, if we change our habits even just a little, the reduction in our national carbon emissions could be significant.
ExpressVPN explains how to lower bills in perhaps surprising ways, as there are so many little tweaks we can make to our daily lives that could make an enormous lasting difference:
Research carried out in 2018 revealed that the meat and dairy industries create 60% of greenhouse gas emissions. So, by eating vegetarian food for a year, you could save the same carbon emissions as, say, taking a small family car off the road for six months.
Also, eating local food cuts down on the miles it has to travel. Recipe planning can help you manage your food more effectively and cut down on food waste.
Carbon emissions from the UK are roughly 22%, and much of this comes from using more heating in our homes than necessary. Investing in simple modern controls is a good way to make sure you’re only using heating when necessary.
Most of us heat our homes using a gas or oil boiler, and while this can be swapped out, if you’re not ready to make the switch to a low carbon heat pump when your boiler breaks down, talk to your installer about the best heating controls for you, or how best to replace your old boiler.
So, you’ve sorted your heating out: but did you know that around a third of the heat lost from an uninsulated home escapes through the walls?
You can insulate your water pipes relatively cheaply, and then look at your walls: homes with cavity walls (built after about 1920) are easiest to insulate, while older homes need solid wall insulation.
It’s also important to check your oft insulation is in good condition, and to top it up to the recommended level of 270mm of insulation. Your home may also be losing heat through gaps around the windows and doors, between floorboards or up your chimney, so draught-proofing saves money and reduces emissions.
Modern LED bulbs use 80-90% less energy than a traditional lightbulb, so if you replace all the bulbs in your home with LED lights, you could reduce your carbon dioxide emissions by up to 65kg a year.
You can reduce your energy use – and carbon emissions – by making small changes to your habits like using eco modes, lowering temperatures or just airing clothes on a line in the sun.
If you need to drive, consider an electric vehicle, which have zero tailpipe emissions. Sure, the initial purchase price of an electric vehicle might make you think twice but lower running costs and the environmental benefits make huge differences over time.
As well as always recycling materials, one way of reducing emissions from products at home is to reduce the amount you consume. Recyclenow, for example, offers a tool that helps you recycle goods in your area.
These are just some of the ways you can start to make changes for yourself and your planet.
Disclaimer: MoneyMagpie is not a licensed financial advisor and therefore information found here including opinions, commentary, suggestions or strategies are for informational, entertainment or educational purposes only. This should not be considered as financial advice. Anyone thinking of investing should conduct their own due diligence.