Great Britain has reduced its carbon production faster than any other industrialised nation (woop!) and the UK’s emissions are below the goal (instituted by the Climate Change Act) for carbon budget 2, and 40 per cent below the 1990 levels. This is great but there is still loads more work required in order to reach the long-term goal of continuing to decrease emissions of the 6 greenhouse gas emissions regulated by the Kyoto accords, to 80 per cent of 1990 levels.
Currently, fifty per cent of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions in the UK come from domestic heating and cooking, and from transport. That’s a lot, and is also why the Energy and Utilities Alliance (EUA) is urging the government to work collaboratively with industry (those in the know) to green Great Britain by greening the gas grid – according to a recent report by HPM Magazine.
Mike Foster, CEO of EUA and also author of ‘The Future of Fuel’ report, which takes an in-depth look at how the UK can successfully decarbonise heat and hot water generation without radically changing the way 85 per cent of households heat their homes, said:
“Numerous studies have shown that switching to electricity is a more expensive option for the UK and it will struggle to meet demand in a cold snap.
Low carbon gas in our homes will be the cheapest, most secure, and most flexible source of energy we can deploy. The fact that it meets our international obligations too, should be something we welcome.”
Whilst this is all very good to know, you and I, as homeowners, don’t have much control over making changes to the national gas grid but there are things that we can do. Being green doesn’t require us to spend lots of money on fancy gadgets; in fact, an environmentally-responsible home can save you money (as well as the earth!). Check out these ideas that will turn your home into something more eco-friendly:
- Use Compact Fluorescent Light (FFL) bulbs – saves 66 per cent energy.
- Unplug your TV when it’s not in use (and any other device, for that matter).
- Open your blinds/curtains to let the sun warm your house during the day – saves 10 per cent energy.
- Use rugs on wooden floors – saves 4-6 per cent energy.
- Turn down your thermostat by 1degree Celsius – saves up to £60/year.
- Use your microwave– 50 per cent less energy is used by a microwave than conventional oven.
- Energy-efficient cookware (glass, silicone, ceramic) can reduce cooking temperatures (and thus energy use).
- Keep the oven closed when in use – opening the door causes the temperature to dropp, requiring more energy to heat up.
- Smart dishwashing – don’t pre-rinse, run a full load and air-dry dishes.
- Improve the air quality in your house with indoor plants.
- Don’t leave the water running whilst brushing your teeth.
- Turn taps off properly – 182 litres of water is lost per week from leaking taps.
- Buy recycled toilet paper.
- Use the shower more often than the bath – showers can use as little as 14 per cent of the water used during a bath.
- Wash clothes at 30 degrees Celsius – this uses around 40 per cent less electricity than washing at higher temperatures.
- Hang-dry your clothes instead of using a dryer – 2-3kg of carbon emissions are produced for every hour a dryer is used.
- Install a low-flow shower head – this can save a family of four 160,000 litres of water/year.
- Install a low-flow toilet.
- Compost kitchen scraps – reduces the amount of household waste in landfills.
- Insulate your windows – this will keep you cool in summer and warm in winter.
For more handy ways to ‘eco-friendly’ your house, read “50 Cost-Efficient Ways To Make Your Home More Eco-Friendly” and for all your energy-related needs, contact the team at AACooper on 01689 485007 or firstname.lastname@example.org.