RESIDENTS in Carmarthenshire are being urged to reduce the amount of energy they are using at home and save money on their bills.
Carmarthenshire County Council is supporting Energy Saving Week and the aim is to help householders take action to reduce their carbon footprint and show how they can make big savings.
The council is working hard to cut its energy consumption at all of its buildings and a number of energy efficiency projects are underway across the county.
In County Hall, Carmarthen, the installation of new, more efficient ‘T5’ lighting will result in savings of £12,200 and 74 tonnes of CO2. That’s £244,000 and 1472 tonnes of CO2 over 20 years!
The project is one of many being carried out using almost £1million interest-free funding secured from SALIX finance (a daughter company of the Carbon Trust) and the savings generated by the investment at County Hall will pay for the project within seven years.
Executive board member for sustainability Councillor Pam Palmer said: “We can all do something during Energy Savings Week to take control of our energy use, little things such as turning off lights and not leaving televisions on standby can all make a difference.
“Taking control of energy usage isn’t just good for the environment but it’s good for the wallet too and in these hard economic times money-saving is a big motivator.”
Top 10 tips:
1. Do a home energy check. Just answer some simple questions about your home and the Energy Saving Trust will give you a free, impartial report telling you how you can save up to £300 a year on your household energy bills. www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/check
2. Call your local Energy Saving Trust advice centre on 0800 512 012 for free impartial advice – for example if your loft is not insulated (or needs topping-up to the recommended 270mm depth) they will be able to tell you your nearest energy saving recommended insulation company.
3. If you’re looking to replace a household gadget or appliance, compare thousands of products and find the best energy saving recommended option here: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/compare
4. Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent and typically saves around £55 per year. If you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on only when required rather than all the time.
5. Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F.
6. Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you’re using an electric kettle).
7. A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure they're fully turned off!
8. Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows and doors.
9. Don't leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave laptops and mobile phones on charge unnecessarily.
10. Use energy saving lightbulbs. They last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs, and using one can save you around £40 over the lifetime of the bulb. This saving could be around £65 over its lifetime if you're replacing a high wattage incandescent bulb, or one used for more than a few hours a day.