How to reduce your home’s carbon emissions
The UK is currently working towards a target of net-zero emissions by 2050 and around 22% of the country’s carbon emissions currently come from our homes, including heating, lighting and appliances, so this is a great place to start. We all have a part to play and the good news is that there are many things we can do to lower our household emissions, so here are a few simple tips which can add up to a big difference.
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1. Use heating controls
For most of us, the first step in cutting carbon emissions is to take control of our heating. We can reduce our carbon emissions and energy usage by making sure we’re not using more heating than we need. Smart heating controls are available for all types of heating systems, including electric storage heaters. Some systems include automation features, which can help by working out exactly when to turn the heating on and off. In fact, by installing a smart thermostat, you could save up to £75 and 330kg of carbon a year. For more tips on how to reduce your energy consumption at home check out our energy efficiency blog here.
2. Invest in solar panels
Installing solar panels is a good way to lower your carbon emissions. Solar energy is a natural, renewable source because it can be replenished, unlike finite fossil fuels. Solar energy produces little or no emissions when it’s converted to electricity. Fortunately, for those of us living in the UK (where the sun doesn’t always shine) solar cells still work on cloudy days, although less electricity is generated. The Energy Saving Trust estimates the average UK home with a solar PV system installed could reduce carbon emissions by 1.3 to 1.6 tonnes per year depending on location.
3. Switch to energy-efficient appliances
Moving to energy efficient appliances can be an excellent way to save money on your bills, as well as reducing your home’s carbon emissions. All electrical appliances such as dishwashers, fridges and washing machines have to carry a Europe-wide energy label which indicates how efficient (or inefficient) they are. After a revamp of the grading system in 2021, new appliances are officially graded on a scale from G (least efficient) up to A (most efficient). Looking at the energy-efficiency rating is vital when shopping for your household goods, so keep an eye out for the coloured sticker on the appliance showing its rating.
4. Seal and insulate your home
Adding insulation and air sealing can make your house significantly more efficient: it’ll stay warmer in winter and cooler in summer while using far less fuel. The majority of energy used in homes, 63%, is for space heating. Insulation reduces the amount of heat lost through walls, roofs and floors, meaning that less energy is required to heat a building. Home insulation is the single most effective method of reducing carbon emissions; a detached home fitted with solid wall insulation could save up to 2 tonnes of carbon per year, as well as saving you money on domestic energy bills.
5. LED low voltage light bulbs
Changing your light bulbs to low-voltage LED bulbs is one of the easiest and quickest ways to save energy. You can get most kinds of LED bulbs in the supermarket, so you can pick them up alongside your normal weekly shop. LED bulbs have advanced over the years and are now as bright as standard light bulbs, so the only change you can expect is a reduction in your electricity bills. LED bulbs use around 90% less energy than halogen bulbs and last 50 times longer. Making this change could save you about £35 a year. For more cheap and easy tips check out our blog here.
Here at Fourwalls we are committed to doing our part to reduce our carbon emissions. We have teamed up with carbon management advisors PlannetZero to identify our carbon footprint and measure our total greenhouse gas emissions, with the aim to effectively reduce our environmental impact.
For those who are feeling a bit lost in this new world of working towards ‘net zero’, we’ve launched our own energy consultancy, Fourwalls Energy, to help provide tailored advice. Our energy professionals can provide detailed information to assist with the ever-increasing demand to improve efficiencies, reduce energy bills and consumption, and transition to greener methods to reduce your home’s carbon emissions. If you would like more information about Fourwalls Energy, please visit our dedicated webpage here or contact us today.
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