With the Christmas indulgences far behind us we could all do with shedding a few pounds through a low carb diet… But how about this year you try something a little different – shedding a few kilos with a low carbon diet!
The weight we really need to shift is from the CO2 we are piling on from our high energy lifestyles. With all those Christmas lights we’ve had on, thermostats turned up and new electronic gadgets we have received, a post-Christmas detox is in order.
Just like any other diet it needs to be measurable and achievable
Start off by recording the cost of your energy bills over the last few years. This can be your baseline for cost savings and later be evidence of the tangible value of your efforts.
With the New Year come new offers on energy tariffs, this can be a great way of savings costs from the get-go. Remember to shop around and compare day/night rates as well as standing charges that suppliers are offering.
Paying by direct debit can also help reduce bills as can submitting regular meter reads online. Better still shop around for a deal which gives you a smart meter upgrade too so you can see what you are using in real time!
So that’s the cost saving, what about the energy shedding?
You’ve probably heard these all before and perhaps have even attempted them in the past. But just as exercise needs to be regular to be effective so does energy saving! Here’s a few of my favourite tips to reduce energy and lower your carbon footprint:
• Unplug unused appliances and avoid standby mode: TVs, Microwaves, Broadband routers and chargers – all these things use energy when plugged in or left on standby. c 10% of your home energy bill is made up of things left on standby!
• Change your light bulbs: Switching to more efficient versions could be just what you need for an eco-friendly future, LEDs come in all shapes/sizes and colours now and last much longer.
• Isolate unused rooms: Every home has rooms that aren’t used as much as the others, so don’t waste energy heating and cooling them when it’s not necessary.
• Use your fridge effectively: The fridge is one of just a few appliances that run 24/7, so pledge to use it more efficiently in 2015. Make sure the seal is working properly and avoid leaving the door open longer than necessary.
• Maintenance is key: Similar to cars, houses need regular maintenance to operate effectively and efficiently. Regular boiler checks and draught repairs can help reduce excessive heating bills and save energy too.
All simple stuff! The challenge will inevitably be keeping it up all year round and getting the whole family involved. Don’t forget to track your progress and get others hooked on the diet too!
Jaz Rabadia is Energy Manager at Debenhams.