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Climate change and the natural environment:
Tackling climate change
Environment Unit - March 2011
Burning fossil fuels to heat our homes or produce electricity releases carbon dioxide emissions, which contributes to climate change. The energy you use at home is likely to be your biggest contribution to climate change. 80 per cent of it goes on heating and producing hot water, so this is a good place to look for savings.
Energy efficiency at home
Ten top tips for reducing your energy use, which will also save you some money.
Turn down your thermostat
Turning your thermostat down by one degree reduces carbon emissions and can cut your fuel bills by up to 10 per cent.
Look for the energy rating labels
When buying products that use energy – anything from light bulbs to fridge-freezers – look for the energy saving recommended label or European energy label rating, where A++ is the most efficient. The European energy label also tells you how much water appliances use, so you can choose a more efficient model.
Draught proof your house
In a typical home 20 per cent of all heat loss is through poor ventilation and draughts. If everyone in the UK adopted a few simple draught proofing measures in their homes, we'd save around £130m per year! Close the curtains after dusk to keep the heat in. Eliminate draughts and wasted heat by installing a cheap, easy-to-fix brush or PVC seal on your exterior doors. Letterboxes and keyholes should be covered too. Draughts also get in through gaps in floorboards and skirting boards, which also allow heat to escape in winter. Stop this waste by filling these gaps with newspaper, beading or sealant.
Get double glazing
Double glazing cuts heat lost through windows by half and can save £80 to £100 a year on your heating bills. Double glazing works by trapping air between two panes of glass, creating an insulating barrier that reduces heat loss, noise and condensation.
Use low energy light bulbs
Use energy saving light bulbs. Just one can save you up to £68 over the lifetime of the bulb - as they last up to 10 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.
Switch off unused appliances
Don't leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily - this can use a lot more energy than you think.
Get your pipes and tanks insulated
Both tank and pipe insulation keep your water hotter for longer by reducing the amount of heat that escapes. Fitting a British Standard 'jacket' around your cylinder will cut heat loss by over 75 per cent. If you already have a jacket fitted, check that it's at least 75mm thick. A hot water cylinder jacket costs around £12.
Improve your insulation
More than half the heat lost in your home escapes through the walls and roof. Cavity wall insulation could save you £92 a year on fuel bills. The Kirklees Warm Zone scheme is offering free cavity wall and loft insulation for every suitable home, regardless of income. The Warm Zone scheme also offers a range of other benefits such as a free carbon monoxide detector, free energy saving light bulbs, benefits checks, fire safety checks and other energy efficiency advice. Please see www.kirklees.gov.uk/warmzone for more information.
Generate your own clean energy
Why not install a form of renewable energy on your property and generate your own clean energy? With the rising prices of fuel, it can both help the environment
and save you some money.
Wash your clothes at 30°C
Washing clothes at 30°C doesn't just save energy - it's also kinder on your clothes.
Call 0800 052 74 96 for your local energy efficiency advice centre.