Don’t worry – we don’t mean paint your house green – no, we’re talking about energy. What’s inspired us?
Well, you may have noticed that there’s been some interesting news regarding renewable energy recently. That’s because Tesla, an American design and manufacturing company, have just announced a new product: The Powerwall.
It’s a battery that attaches to the wall of your house, either on the inside or the outside, and charges up using solar panels (or other sources of renewable energy). It then stores the energy until you need to use it.
The batteries won’t be available (and affordable) for the masses for a while, but that doesn’t mean that you can’t ‘go green’ in other ways in the meantime!
What can I do?
The popularity of solar panels has been on the increase in recent years. More than half a million homes now have them and The Guardian reports that by 2020, ten million homes should have them installed.
They can be a good financial move in the long-run, but on average it costs between £6,000 and £9,000 to have them installed, which might be out of your price range. If it is something you’re thinking about, the Government runs a Feed-in Tariff scheme, where you could get payments from your energy supplier if you generate your own energy through solar panels or even wind turbines.
You’ll get a set rate for each unit of electricity that’s generated, even if you use it yourself and for any surplus if you export it to the grid.
If you’re not using it – turn it off!
This is a really good habit to get into. You can end up wasting energy just because you don’t turn things off at the plug – so don’t leave thing on standby. In fact, the British public waste £227m a year just by leaving appliances on standby, and £28.9m by leaving mobile phone chargers plugged in when not in use, so turn it off!
Look into whether you can get your walls and loft insulated. This might be expensive if you have to do it yourself, but the government offers grants. Click here to see if you can get one.
Invest in draught excluders
Draft proofing (you can buy a draft excluder for your doors and tape for your windows for pretty cheaply – pound shops are a good place to start!) might sound a bit too easy, but you’ll be surprised how much warmer your house will be. Keep the doors of the room you’re in shut too, which will help keep the warmth in. Draw the curtains in the evening to help stop heat disappearing out of your windows (especially if you haven’t got double glazing).
Get some energy saving light bulbs
See how much you can save by swapping your regular bulbs for energy saving ones here. Don’t forget to turn the lights off when you leave a room too!
Set your washing machine to run at 30 degrees instead of 40 – you’ll notice a difference on your bills. If you can, only use your tumble dryer when you need to, as they use up a lot of energy too – if the sun is out, get your clothes on the line!