Thursday, 12 January 2012

Smart Meter - Energy Efficency of the Future

Morning! A little warmer here in Suffolk this morning and the sun even made a brief appearance.  Strangely it feels almost like Spring is on the way, but I am sure we are going to have our hopes dashed and temperatures will drop and the thermostat will be turned up.  As we all worry more about rising energy costs it’s important to look at ways we can save energy and be a little greener too.  Today I am pleased to be working with Britmums and British Gas on a campaign to help educate about energy conservation.

In a drive to improve our energy use and to aid energy reduction the UK government and others around the world have plans for a Smart Meter to be installed in homes.  By 2019 every household in the UK will have to ensure that they have a Smart Meter installed.  These Smart Meters will allow the government to forecast daily energy usage more accurately and enable better planning and efficiency in generating the nations power, which hopefully will mean producing cleaner, greener electricity. To find out more about Smart Meters, visit the British Gas website.

I know, 2019 is yonks away and should we be doing anything to help reduce our energy bills now?  Yes, of course we should.  There are many ways we can reduce our household energy consumption and live a greener life.  I am quite strict about putting the heating on and regularly make the children put on a jumper if they are cold.  I also set the dial to 20 and rarely is it turned up any higher.  Although this winter has been a lot milder and the heating has only been on first thing in the morning for a couple of hours and in the evening.  I am sure in colder weather we would have it on a little longer.  Aswell as layering up to keep warm during the day, winter duvets are a great idea to reduce the need to turn the heating on overnight. 

Earlier this year my tumble dryer finally gave up after seven years good service and very regular use.  Instead of replacing it I decided to make the use of the whirligig in the garden and the clothes horse in the hall! Already I have seen a reduction in my electricity bill.  Maybe you are not quite ready to be as bold so instead look at how often you use your tumble dryer.  Perhaps you could just use it to dry sheets, duvet covers and towels and the occasional load of washing you need dried quickly?  I have washing out on the line today, in January.  Well I did say it was milder this winter.

It is also important to consider the energy efficiency of other household appliances.  I will need to replace my washing machine very, very soon and whilst cost is the main factor in my choice of machine I will also be choosing a product that is energy efficient.  Maybe my money won’t stretch to a triple A rated machine but I will get as close as I can.  With five children I have a lot of washing to do every day and am very conscious of the amount of water I must use.

More and more councils are providing different bins to ensure recycling is separated and that more of us recycle.  We have three bins where we live and the only recycling we still have to take to a nearby recycling centre is glass, otherwise it is all separated at home and put in the correct bin.  Putting out the recycling is meant to be part of our childrens weekly chores, taking it in turn each day to do this, which helps them earn their pocket money! However with darker evenings after school this chore seems to have fallen with Drew.  I guess the trick is to buy products with less packaging to ensure less needs to be sorted and recycled. 

I know there are many ways we can live a greener life and I hope todays ideas have helped a little.  Just remember it is not just about saving a few pounds but helping to teach the next generation to make better energy choices.  So next time Lucy leaves the light on I might just have to dock 2p off her pocket money or when any of my children leave the television on and leave the room I will stop them playing to come back to switch it off.  Maybe that’s being tough but surely the next time they will remember to switch things off when they leave a room!
Do you have any top tips for saving energy? I would love you to share them below.
Have a fab day

I'm participating in the British Gas Smart Meter campaign. Smart meters work with an in-home display to show how much energy you're using in pounds and pence. You can see how much you're spending by leaving your phone charger plugged in all the time, or the heating on at night. And when you can really see how much you're using, you can start to make small changes to become more efficient. Smart Meters automatically send British Gas readings so they represent the end of estimated bills! British Gas is committed to install 1.5 million smart meters by the end of 2012.

1 comment:

Michelloui | The American Resident said...

I really love this post and I especially love the last paragraph where you use the words 'teach the next generation' because it isn't just about teaching kids how to turn off lights, it's about showing a whole generation how to live differently so they don;t even have to think about it!

Great post!

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