Leading Bedfordshire homebuilder Barratt and David Wilson Homes is marking Big Energy Saving Week by providing homeowners some top tips on how to be more energy efficient.
Big Energy Saving Week is an annual campaign run by a partnership of Citizens Advice, the Energy Saving Trust and the Department of Business and Energy and Industrial Strategy. It takes place from Monday 17th January to Saturday 22nd January, and raises awareness of the importance of being environmentally friendly in the home.
Over the last year in particular, there has been a surge in people working from home, either through choice or as part of the COVID-19 restrictions. This has led to an increase in energy usage in the home, with it being reported that gas prices had more than quadrupled in the space of 12 months from December 2020.
In aid of the campaign, Barratt and David Wilson Homes is providing homeowners with some top tips to reduce their energy usage, save on bills and be greener going forward.
The top tips include:
With the increase in people washing hands and sanitising to protect themselves from coronavirus, this leads to a direct increase in water usage, with hot water taking more energy to produce than cold water.
Research has proven that cold water is just as effective as hot water when it comes to killing the virus, so making the switch to cold water where possible will help to keep bills down. Taking showers instead of baths can also make a tremendous difference when reducing how much water is used on a daily basis.
Other methods can also lead to reduced water bills, such as turning the tap off when brushing teeth, only using dishwashers and washing machines when they are full, throwing tissues in the bin rather than flushing them away and collecting rainwater to use to water any houseplants.
Don’t ‘standby’ me
Many may not realise but leaving electrical items on standby as opposed to turning them off completely can cost homeowners hundreds for items they aren’t even using.
Once the credits roll or the full time whistle blows and it’s time for bed, it may be better to start turning the plug sockets off at the wall instead of just leaving it on standby overnight until the following evening. The same can be said for any chargers; even if the device is not plugged in to the charger, this will still use a little bit of energy and shorten the lifespan of the charger itself.
The worst offenders of all are games consoles. Due to their built-in automatic standby modes, ‘quick start’ features and constant need to perform updates in the background, they will regularly consume a lot of energy when not being used.
Feeling the heat
It may sound like something a grumpy parent may say, but putting on a jumper or an extra pair of socks instead of turning the heating up can make a huge difference to your monthly bills in the colder months.
This is not flawless – no-one can be expected to keep their heating off all winter on the coldest nights – but there are ways to make the most of the heating. Ensuring radiators are unobstructed by furniture and bleeding them regularly can help rooms feel warmer at lower temperatures.
Alison Raine, Sales Director at Barratt and David Wilson Homes Northampton, said: “Big Energy Saving Week is important for a number of reasons, including the fact that it can save residents money, help protect the planet and teach our children about being environmentally friendly.
“With many people continuing to work from home, finding this balance where possible is tougher than ever. New build homes are proven to be more energy efficient than older properties and we are constantly developing innovative and sustainable practices when building our developments.
“Our properties are expertly designed to comply with energy efficiency regulations. They are built with superior insulation, ensuring the heat stays in your home and energy consumption is minimised, meaning modern living and working from home is easy and manageable.”
To find out more about Big Energy Saving Week, please visit https://www.citizensadvice.org.uk/about-us/our-work/our-campaigns/all-our-current-campaigns/besw/.
Barratt and David Wilson Homes is currently building properties in Bedfordshire at Willow Grove in Wixams.