Residents of UK urgent switch on to energy savings

Would you willingly throw away £200 a year? Thought not. But, shockingly, this is how much some UK households squander every year by leaving lights on unnecessarily, appliances on standby and not insulating walls and roofs sufficiently.

In fact, across the UK we waste a staggering £96 million worth of energy every week in our homes alone – all of which could be saved by taking simple steps to conserve energy.

As well as hurting our pockets, wasting energy also has dire consequences for the environment. The burning of coal, gas and oil to provide the energy which heats and powers our homes releases huge quantities of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere.

It’s reassuring then, that the Energy Saving Trust is here to help. Created by the Government to cut the UK’s carbon dioxide emissions, the Trust has a free national helpline, a dedicated website and 52 regional energy efficiency advice centres around the country offering free, expert and impartial advice to householders who want to save energy, money and the environment.

Philip Sellwood, Chief Executive of the Energy Saving Trust, explains

“We’re consuming more energy in the home than ever before – the more we use, the more it costs us, and the more we damage our environment. However, the potential for change by making adopting energy efficiency measures is enormous.”

Being energy efficient is easy and needn’t cost a penny. But where to start? “If your home has cavity walls, insulating them can be one of the most cost effective ways to save money,” explains Philip. “Uninsulated cavity walls account for up to 33 per cent of the heat lost in your home so insulating them could save you up to £100 every year.”

Cavity wall insulation costs around £300 but you could recoup the costs in just three years. Best of all, grants are available from the Energy Saving Trust to reduce the initial outlay.

If your boiler is on its last legs, Philip recommends replacing it with a new energy efficient one. Opting for a high-efficiency condensing boiler, for example, could save you around a third on your heating bills straight away, and pay for itself within years. They usually cost no more than standard boilers with a grant through the Energy Saving Trust.

Finally, look out for the ‘Energy Efficiency Recommended’ logo when shopping for appliances. It appears on a range of A-rated appliances – everything from lightbulbs to washing machines – to help you choose the most efficient ones on the market. An ‘Energy Efficiency Recommended’ fridge-freezer, for example, could save you up to £35 a year on your annual household bills – that’s £350 over the average lifetime of the appliance.

To find how much energy and money you could save in your home, call the Energy Efficiency Helpline on 0845 727 7200. A trained advisor will also be able to inform you of the grants available to help improve your home’s energy efficiency.

If you’d prefer to speak to someone face to face, drop into your local energy efficiency advice centre. Call freephone 0800 512 012 for your nearest centre.

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