Heating and Lighting
Top Tip: Cut down on home energy use
Cutting down on the energy you use at home is a great way to reduce your personal emissions. Many homes in Devon aren’t very energy efficient, so reducing the amount of energy needed to heath and light up our homes could amount to a big carbon saving across the county.
Check out our recent video, which is full of helpful tips about how you can reduce the energy needed to heat and light-up your home.
Take a personalized Home Energy Check
All homes are different so getting personalised advice for your home will make it easier for you to be sure you’re doing the right things and help you understand what actions could make the biggest difference.
Just enter a few details into the energy efficiency calculator from government’s Simple Energy Advice to receive your personalised recommendations.
You can also go to Energy Saving Devon to use their free online tool and find out the upgrade options available to make your home more energy efficient.
Switch to a green renewable energy supplier
Switching to green energy is one of the easiest and quickest ways to reduce your carbon footprint and play your part in creating demand for more renewable energy. To achieve net-zero, we need all our energy to come from renewable sources.
Credit: Jim McDowall / Alamy
Follow Ofgem’s advice on switching your energy supplier. Most big energy suppliers now offer a renewable tariff, but not all renewable energy tariffs are the same.
Choose a supplier who can prove that all of their renewable energy is generated themselves, or purchased directly from renewable generators. Ask your supplier to show you where they get their renewable energy from.
Turn the heat down
Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10% and save you around £50 per year. If every household in Devon turned their thermostat down by 1°C, we would save 75,000 tonnes of CO2 every year.
- Here are some excellent advice sheets and videos from the Centre for Sustainable Energy on:
- Using your central heating controls advice sheet
- How to set a programmable room thermostat video.
- How to set a mechanical central heating programmer video
- How to set a digital central heating programmer video
Insulate your home
Houses that aren’t well insulated need to use more energy to keep warm. Not only does this cost you more money, it also creates a much larger carbon footprint – especially if you aren’t on a renewable tariff!
While the initial insulation may require a bit of investment, it will pay off in the long run with lower bills, a more efficient home and a smaller carbon footprint.
Check out these advice sheets from the Centre for Sustainable Energy which cover how to insulate your home’s walls, floor and loft and reduce heat losses from doors and windows.
Energy Saving Devon is a council backed scheme offering a range of free and subsidised energy saving measures that can help you save energy and money.
If you live in a protected or historic building, the Society for the Protection of Ancient Buildings has a free advice line which offers technical advice on a range of topics including damp and insulation.
Historic England provides comprehensive information on energy efficiency in historic buildings on their website.
Moving house? You can gain favourable terms on a mortgage for buying an energy-efficient home. Find out more about green mortgages.
There are two main types of energy efficient light bulbs available. Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and Light Emitting Diodes (LEDs).
CFLs are what you typically think of as an energy efficient light bulb. CFLs are a cost-effective option for most general lighting requirements. Replacing a traditional light bulb with a CFL will save you around £3 per year, or £50 over the lifetime of the bulb.
LEDs though more expensive to buy initially, are more efficient than CFLs and will save you more money in the long term. Replacing a halogen spotlight with an equivalent LED will save you around £4 each year, or £140 over the bulb’s lifetime.
If every household in Devon swapped two normal 60 watt bulbs for low-energy ones, we’d save over 100,000 tonnes of CO2 emissions.
Install Renewable Energy
To meet net-zero carbon, all of our energy for heating and electricity needs to come from renewable sources.
The Energy Saving Trust provides guidance on choosing the right type of renewable electricity or heating system for your needs and circumstances and the Simple Energy Advice from government explains the funding available to help you install them. Advice leaflets are also available from the Centre for Sustainable Energy.
The Boiler Upgrade Scheme offers households who have an annual combined income of less than £30,000 a grant for up to 100 per cent of costs to retrofit their home (up to a cap), this could include heat pumps and solar panels:
- £5,000 off the cost and installation of an air source heat pump
- £5,000 off the cost and installation of a biomass boiler
- £6,000 off the cost and installation of a ground source heat pump
For local advice, contact your nearest community energy organisation via Energy Saving Devon.