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How to be Sustainable at Home

If you saved just 20% of the energy that you use every day you’ll help prevent irreversible climate change, alongside saving on average £260 per year on your energy bill (OVO Energy). There are many easy ways in which you can do this, and what’s more most of the tips below are free!

1. Control your heating

Roughly 53% of your energy bill is spent on heating your house, so if you can reduce the amount you spend on heating then you will see the most reductions to your energy bill. Turning your thermostat down by just one degree Celsius will save you about 10% on your heating bill (OVO Energy).

Other ways to save money on your heating bill are to avoid heating your home when you don’t need it or only heating the rooms that you actually use/need.

2. Turn it off!

A pretty simple way to reduce energy use (and your bills!) is to make sure that appliances are turned off when not in use. This includes appliances often left on standby, such as televisions, computers and games consoles. You can also buy energy monitors that will tell you how much electricity an appliance is using at any given time, which will quickly show up standby problems.

3. Swap those bulbs

Advancements in recent technology have made LED bulbs bright, efficient and cheap. They last a lot longer than the traditional incandescent bulbs as well, so by switching an “old” bulb to an LED one will give you savings in just a year.

4. 3 R’s (plus a few more!)

While these may not help to reduce your household energy consumption, they will most certainly reduce your environmental footprint.

Most people have heard of the 3 R’s when they talk about diverting waste from landfill - Reduce (e.g. buy goods that have not got excess packaging), Reuse (can you REUSE that water bottle?) and Recycle (if you cannot reduce or reuse your waste, can it be recycled?). There are now a few more ‘R’s to be added to that list:

Rot: do you have a compost bin or composting facilities? Can your non-recyclable waste be composted instead of going in the landfill bin? Lincolnshire Waste Partnership and Straight Plc are providing a home composting scheme to Lincolnshire residents. Please head to www.lincolnshire.gov.uk/recycle-for-lincolnshire/garden-waste/home-composting/ for more information.

Refuse: cut down the amount of waste you produce by saying “no thank you” - say “no” to that plastic bag, say “no” to the straw in your drink, say “no” to the disposable cutlery…

Recover: Lincolnshire has an ‘Energy from Waste’ (EfW) site in North Hykeham, where non-recyclable waste is sent to be used as fuel to heat water, which creates steam that powers a turbine to create electricity. This has cut the amount of waste sent to landfill by 90% and saved the taxpayer £30m, while generating electricity for more than 26,500 homes in the area every year (Councillor Reg Shore, Executive Councillor for Waste and Recycling).

Rebuy: make a choice to buy goods that are made from recycled products, such as fleece jackets that were once water bottles or recycled paper for your office.

Green Technologies

There are of course other ways to reduce your environmental footprint while at the same time saving money. Renewable energy technology may need a large, initial investment, but many people see financial return within just a few years.

There are many different renewable technologies available to households. Some of the most common are solar panels, biomass, ground and air source heat pumps and wind turbines and provide a green alternative to burning fossil fuels.

Feed In Tariffs

The Feed In Tariff scheme allows homeowners to apply for payments from their energy supplier for any energy they generate, such as through solar PV and wind turbines. The ‘rate’ depends on several factors, for example the size of the system, the technology that has been installed, when it was installed and how energy efficient the house is. Homeowners can also sell unused units back to their energy supplier via the export tariff.

For more information please head to https://www.gov.uk/feed-in-tariffs

Renewable Heat Incentive

Renewable Heat Incentive aims to provide financial support for generating heat for the home. This can be through biomass boilers, solar water heating or certain heat pumps. The payments are made for 7 years and are based on the amount of heat produced.
For more information please head to https://www.gov.uk/domestic-renewable-heat-incentive

If you would like to talk to someone about any sustainable ideas you may have or any queries regarding sustainability, then please do not hesitate to email the LCC Sustainability team at sustainability@lincolnshire.gov.uk

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Last updated: 13 September 2017

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