Energy Efficiency Around the World (Tips from the U.K.)

Last spring the German Environment Ministry unveiled a set of extremely ambitious proposals that aim to make Germany the most energy efficient country in the world.  Other European countries (in accordance with new European Union laws) are following in Germany’s footsteps by pushing similar actions.  Unfortunately the United States still consistently ranks poorly on energy efficiency.  If every U.S. citizen made a few simple changes around their homes we would quickly catch up to the rest of the world.

Here are ten “cheap and simple” solutions the U.K.’s Energy Saving Trust suggests to make homes more energy efficient:

1.   Turn your thermostat down.  Reducing your room temperature by 1 degree Celsius (just under 2 degrees Fahrenheit) could cut your heating bills by 10 percent.  You could save around 40 pounds per year (about $80).

2.   Is your water too hot?  Your cylinder thermostat (water heater) shouldn’t need to be set higher than 60 degrees Celsius (140 degrees Fahrenheit).

3.   Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows.

4.   Always turn off lights when you leave the room.

5.   Don’t leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave appliances on charge unnecessarily.

6.   If you’re not filling up the washing machine, tumble dryer, or dishwasher use the half-load or economy setting.

7.   Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you’re using an electric kettle).

8.   A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough water to fill half a bath, so fix leaking taps and and make sure they’re fully turned off.

9.   Use energy saving light bulbs.  Just one can save you 60 pounds ($120) over the lifetime of the bulb – as they last up to 10 times longer than ordinary light-bulbs.

10.   Do a home energy check!

 For more information (including a few short videos) head to the Energy Saving Trust homepage.

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