Using Energy wisely

How we use energy is right at the heart of tackling climate change. Fossil fuels – coal, oil and gas – are the main source of carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. We need urgent government action on this, but we can all play a part in cutting energy use (and we’ll save money as we do it).

First steps:

Have a light bulb moment!

Are you still using old incandescent or halogen bulbs? They’re now banned from sale because they’re energy wasters; if you still have some at home it’s time to let them go. Replace old energy-guzzling bulbs with LEDs. They use up to 90 per cent less energy and last up to 15 times longer. Do it this weekend (or today) and record your action.

Next steps:

Commit to save:

Check your electricity (and maybe gas) bill, and resolve to save 10% over the year by cutting energy waste – involve everyone in your household in simply wasting less energy.  Check out the Energy Saving Trust guide here, choose the ones you’ll do and record your action here.

Turn it off if you dont need it!

Switching off sockets for appliances you’re not using. If your TV is on standby or your phone charger’s sitting in a socket that’s switched on, they’re still using electricity. According to The Energy Saving Trust, switching your appliances off standby mode can save you around £30 a year

Go green: switch to a clean energy supplier

Switch your electricity and gas to a green energy supplier – many people are saving up to £200 a year doing this. You can do this online using an energy comparison and switching site. The Oxford Big Clean Switch site offers a choice of eight green energy suppliers and makes switching very simple. Click here  to record your action.

Taking it further – or set your own actions and tell us about them!

Go renewable. If you’ve got some money to invest or you’re upgrading your house then go for renewable energy. This could be solar electricity or solar water heating on your roof, or it could be a ‘heat pump’ as an alternative to a gas boiler.

Push for renewables. Could your school, college or workplace go solar (the answer is almost certainly yes!). Talk with people you work or study with and look at how you can persuade the decsion-makers to invest in a clean future.

Why does energy matter?

Quote simply, the burning of carbon-based ‘fossil fuels’ – gas, oil and coal – releases carbon dioxide (CO2) into the atmosphere. This absorbs more heat than other common gases in the atmosphere, and as the level of CO2 rises, so the temperature has risen too.  The 60 second video below is a good introduction.

The BBC has a concise summary of the core facts here:

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