Moving home is an opportunity to review your carbon footprint and to analyse how you can reduce this. It is good for the planet and often good for your health as well as potentially saving money in these times of rising fuel prices.
Things to consider include:
1. Energy Performance Certificate
Every property placed on the market for sale must now by law have an EPC. The Estate Agent will be able to provide you with a copy. The EPC will provide an energy rating for the property and should also contain suggestions for steps that can be taken to improve energy efficiency. Reading this may be a good starting point.
Approximately 50% of most houses heat is lost via the walls and loft. Loft insulation is inexpensive and environmentally friendly loft insulation is available, for example, sheep wool. Grants are available – see Energy Saving Trust. Investigate the cost of cavity wall insulation.
A lot of heat from radiators is lost because it is radiated into the wall. Consider purchasing foil radiator reflectors and fit these on the wall behind the radiators.
4. Water Efficiency
It is said we each waste up to 150 litres of water a day. Consider:-
a) Putting a filed plastic water bottle in your WC cistern to relieve the volume of water used per flush
b) Avoid overfilling the kettle. This will save wasting water, electricity and time. Purchase an eco-kettle.
c) Consider asking for a water meter. This will not itself save water – but it will mean that you only pay for what you use and will make you more conscious of water use generally. Use of water meters can lead to significant financial savings.
d) Simply be conscious of water usage. Don’t wash under a running tap and consider taking a shower rather than a bath.
- Up to 10% of domestic electricity usage is used in keeping domestic appliances on standby. Turn electrical appliances off at the wall when not in use.
- Consider switching your electricity supply to an environmentally friendly electricity generator using www.greenelectric.co.uk or www.uswitch.com.
- Ensure that any new electrical appliances which you purchase have the maximum energy efficiency rating possible. “A” is the maximum for washing machines, for fridge freezers the maximum is A++.
- Install a “smart meter” which will tell you how much electricity you are using and enable you to work out which of your appliances are the most energy hungry. The Energy Savings Trust will offer free home inspections in some arrears and can be contacted on 0800 512012.
The temptation with any new home is to embark on a bout of redecorating or home improvement. Many “brand” paints either contain harmful chemicals or produce chemicals as a by product of manufacture. You may wish to consider approaching a local independent supplier of natural paint such as IEKO based in Lewes or available online at www.ieko.co.uk.
Make sure that your new home has a recycling bin and if you have a garden a green recycling bin. If these are missing, telephone the Council (Eastbourne Borough Council 01323 410000) and ask for replacements.
If you have a garden think about establishing your own compost. This is a very simple and environmentally friendly way to dispose of garden waste and kitchen vegetable waste – as well as providing rocket fuel for your flowers and vegetables!