It can be difficult to get to grips with just how much energy our homes consume on a daily basis. Our heating, lighting and, increasingly, our electrical equipment consume vast amounts of energy and produce a relatively large carbon footprint. Although nobody is suggesting you should stumble around your home in the dark, there are ways that you can reduce your energy consumption.
Although the changes that you make will only make a tiny difference to global figures, if everyone starts cutting down their energy use, those figures will quickly multiply and make a monumental difference on the world stage.
Gaining visibility first
In order to reduce the amount of energy that your home is consuming, you first need to gain some visibility into your energy usage. Purchasing an energy monitor is one way of achieving this, as it connects to your electricity meter and lets you know exactly how much energy you’re using (and how much it’s costing you) in real time.
A similar, but more high-tech approach, would be to invest in a smart thermostat. Devices like these not only give you increased visibility, they can also learn from your patterns of energy use and come up with a more efficient home heating plan automatically. Once they’ve done so, they can then provide you with a detailed breakdown showing you how much energy you’ve saved over a given period.
Becoming more efficient in the home should enable you to lower your carbon footprint without drastically changing your way of life. Simple changes can make a big difference, like making sure you turn off lightbulbs and appliances whenever you leave the room.
Another method involves boosting your home’s insulation to keep the warmth in for longer. Making sure you have loft and cavity wall insulation, for example, will make a big difference in this regard. Finally, make sure that your heating system is working at optimal efficiency. Get your boiler serviced at least once a year by qualified home heating services to ensure that it is operating at peak performance.
Switch to energy-saving devices
Many of the appliances that we use on a daily basis were invented during a time where environmental concerns and green lifestyles simply weren’t considered important. Today, however, we have the option of buying eco-friendly versions of some of our most commonly-used devices.
Check large appliances, like refrigerators and dishwashers, for their energy efficiency rating before making a purchase and, where possible, look for green versions of household products. Eco-kettles are now available that will keep water hot for hours after boiling or which only boil the exact amount of water that you need, both of which can be useful for keeping energy consumption down.
With news reports about climate change and global disaster, it can seem pointless to reduce your home energy usage. However, making small changes at a household level do make a difference, especially when added up over an entire neighbourhood, city or country. By working together, a greener home can lead to a greener planet.