How to go green in your home

The world is at a turning point: fossil fuel stores are beginning to run out; global pollution levels are at a record high; the ice caps are melting, causing widespread flooding; and many other global issues are forcing a worldwide restructuring. Unfortunately reversing and slowing the changes that we have already caused to our planet is a long and drawn out process that requires the participation of everyone worldwide. It is not going to be easy, but we all need to do our bit. Implementing slight changes to your household eco-friendliness is the first step towards change, which you’ll find out how to do in this article. Plus, not only will you help the environment, but it will also save you money in the long run.

Switch to LED bulbs

Lighting is a huge part of the average household electricity bill. This term is not just limited to your spatial lights, such as in the living room, but also in your fridge, your extractor fan, your bedside light and the other mini light bulbs you find dotted around your house. If you are in an older house, you will generally find that if you’ve not switched anything, you will still be installed with incandescent-style bulbs, which are highly inefficient in comparison to today’s technology.

It is estimated that the average household electricity bill in the UK is made up of 25% electricity, which is a huge number, and should not be this high. Switching to LED bulbs will reduce your consumption between 75-90%, which will therefore drastically reduce your overall bill amount. According to the Telegraph, by switching just 10 bulbs in your house to LEDs, each with a 60W output that was switched on for an average of 10 hours per day, you would save £240 per year.

Switch to a renewable energy tariff

As the world energy crisis continues to get worse, energy companies worldwide are being forced into stricter regulations and given shorter deadlines to reach renewable generation targets. One of the trends that has emerged in the UK is the green energy tariff. This originally started with just electricity but has now expanded to the gas markets also. It basically means that if you purchase one of these tariffs, your usage amount will be directly removed from that company’s fossil fuel generation/purchase efforts and be generated through renewable methods, such as: hydro; wind; solar; and geothermal.

Sometimes these tariffs can be a little more expensive than the cheapest on the market, but if you have never switched before, there is a 99% chance that you will still be making quite a large saving. If you are with a Big Six supplier and have never switched, meaning you’ll be on a variable tariff, your savings, based on average usage, would amount to upwards of £200 per year.

Generate your own electricity

This tip will not be appropriate for everyone reading this, as the initial outlay of solar panels can be quite hefty. But, if you do have some money that you could invest into solar panels, read on!

Solar panels can be bought in varying degrees, from a tiny bit of generation to removing all reliance on your energy supplier completely. Obviously the more electricity that you want to generate, the more it’s going to cost you in the initial investment. After that, however, your ROI will be higher, the more you generate.

If you wanted to remove all need for your energy supplier, thus generating 100% of your own electricity, you would probably be looking at paying around £6,000-8,000 to start with, with a £2,500 battery storage system for low-light and night time scenarios. This would see a return on investment after about 18 years, doubling that investment in the following 18.

Increase your insulation

Whether it be your expensive, proper insulation for your floor, roof or walls, or whether you simply hang thicker curtains or rugs, all insulation in your home is important. Having good temperature retention in your home will do wonders for your energy bills and will mean that you don’t have to waste as much gas and electricity in controlling the temperature of your house. You don’t need to spend thousands of pounds to increase the insulation level of your home, but it is obviously recommended to have ‘comprehensive’ insulation fitted.

It is estimated that following percentages of heat loss occur in their corresponding areas. It is thus worth prioritising accordingly:

Roof – 25%
Walls – 35%
Windows and doors 25%
Floor – 15%

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