Power Down – working to reduce the community's consumption of electricity
Government campaigns urge householders to work on the ways to make their home and lifestyle more energy-efficient – this includes changing to CFL lightbulbs, using low-consumption appliances, and checking the insulation of the building.
More information visit the Energy Saving Trust website.
Where lighting is the only significant use of electricity in an average home, monthly consumption tends to be in the range of 10 to 20 kWh - two 40-watt incandescent bulbs used for five hours each night, for example, have a monthly consumption of 12 kWh.
Energy consumption increases rapidly, for example, when a radio-cassette player and a small fan are used for 10 hours each day, giving an additional consumption of 10 to 15 kWh per month. A small colour TV used for 6 hours a day will add a further 10 kWh a month, with a refrigerator using about 50 kWh and a freezer around 100 kWh a month.
How to save money on Fuel Costs and save Energy
- Learn how to read your meters, and your bills:
Many of us pay our bills by direct debit becuase it makes life easier and often as a result we don't bother to read our bills, which are often based on estimated reading. You maybe paying more than you need to pay, so get in the habit of checking the bills and maybe visit a independent comparison site such as energyhelpline .
- Use the Cheapest fuel available
For those who have the choice between gas and electricity, which is cheaper? The gas is almost always cheaper and you can turn off individual radiators in rooms that are not being used, reducing costs and saving energy.
- Cut heat loss through windows
The most effective way to make your home warmer and cut your fuel bills is to draught-proof your doors and windows. A cheap and effective solution is the draught excluder.
- Check your loft insulation
Current government advise is to have 250mm (10in) of "loft insultion" above the top-floor bedroom ceilings. However the insulation will result in the roof space becoming cooler and therefore the risk of condensation forming is greater. Increased ventilation can help, but it is difficult to strike a balance between insulating the house below and keeping the roof space dry.
- Fit underfloor insultation
This is an area which can achieve remarkable effects, improving your internal comfort levels whilst cutting heating bills at the same time.
- Switch off Lights and Equipment
Train yourself and your children to switch off lights when no-one is in the room and equipment when it is not in use. You could invest in a Smart Meter, which will tell you how much electricity you are consuming and how much money this is costing you. Knowing how much electricity you are using, and having the information in front of you can make a real difference. It can't save you money on its own but it can help you change your habits.
- Resolve to take one item off the grid
Treat yourself to a wind-up or solar powered radio (Solar powered radios only last a few mintues in the winter)or invest in a wind-up iPod charger.