Live Greener and Save Money Doing It
Buying a house is one of the most exciting and expensive investments you could hope to achieve in your lifetime. Exciting, because you have the freedom to put your own special brand of style and design on a fresh canvas; or the opportunity to fix up and improve on features that caught your eye. Expensive, because the costs both known, unknown, hidden in paperwork and of course those to come, will take a sizeable chunk of your budget and salary. One cost which many people tend to overlook is the lack of economic implementation. “Going green” has been a tag line for many energy saving groups and the property market is no exception. As prices have risen over the last few years, energy consumption has been taken more seriously.
Nowadays when browsing many leading property search websites you will see the Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) for each listing. This is a good start to get you on the green awareness path but there are more ways to use less energy, which will save more money in future. The infographic below by Baines & Ernst entitled “How to Live More Economically and Save the Planet” breaks down where households use [waste] the most energy, how to prevent this and how to cut costs by living a little greener.
Ways to cut wastage in your home and save money
With around 68% of the energy we use going to heating our homes it is imperative to insulate your house. Draught proofing, loft insulation, wall insulation and double glazing are known to keep the heat in your home for longer. Lowering your room temperature by 1 degree Celsius could have you saving 10% on your heating bill. You can also insulate your water tank with a British Standard jacket that could save you up to £40 in energy costs each year. Modern laundry detergents have been designed with energy saving technology in mind and some even recommend washing your clothes on a 30 degree wash, helping to cut down the energy used by your washing machine by as much as 40%!
Saving water is also just as important as cutting down on energy wastage. A bath for example, can hold up to 80 litres of water, whereas a shower can use up to 9 litres – for optimum cost effectiveness keep showers under 5 minutes. Maintaining dripping taps and fixing leaks will prevent wasting over one thousand litres of water a year. Little changes to your habits can have also have big impact too – turning off the taps when you brush your teeth or putting a brick in your toilet cistern to reduce the amount of water used. Waiting until you have a full load for your washing machine or dishwasher before using it, even if your machine has the “half load” feature as the half load will use nearly the same amount of water as a full load will most of the time.
Installing your lovely new kitchen out with energy-efficient appliances and using low energy lightbulbs throughout your new home will also help control your energy consumption. When leaving the house be sure that all appliances are unplugged, not just switched off. Turning off appliances will it most cases, only put them into stand-by mode. The top “energy vampire” appliances to watch out for are televisions (plasma especially), desktop computers, games consoles, dvd players and mobile phone chargers. Remember, if any appliance has a remote control you can expect there to be a stand-by feature, this will help you identify which appliances are the “energy vampires”.
Moving in to a new home is an ideal time to review the current energy suppliers and check the market for any better offers. Use comparison websites to check as there are some providers that may not be well known but will have great deals. You can also contact your current provider to see if they have a customer retention package. Explain that you are looking to switch but would consider staying if they matched a cheaper deal you found elsewhere.