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How can you save energy? You can’t stop consuming energy or turn off appliances that you need to power your home, right? A smart way to save energy is through energy efficiency.
Energy efficiency doesn’t only mean using less energy to provide the same services but also reducing your costs and the impact your consumption has on the environment.
Energy consumption remains a significant concern throughout the world with most of it still being generated through non-renewable resources such as coal, oil, and gas.
Houses are a great contributor to this concern since they use up a huge chunk of the energy being produced. Most of this energy is converted into electricity and used to power and light up millions of homes in the country.
As of date, the daily electricity usage in the UK on average is around 8 to 10 kWh per day. A small 1-2 bedroom house consumes 2400 kWh of electricity per year. A medium-sized house with 3-4 bedrooms consumes 4200 kWh per year, and a large 5+ bedroom house consumes 7100 kWh per year!
Simple changes and adjustments to your habits can have a huge impact on these numbers. Since lighting accounts for around 15% of a home’s electricity usage, something as simple as switching off unnecessary lights can help you save so much.
Imagine how much we’d be able to save as an economy if all the homes in the country adopted energy-saving practices?
Read on to find out about the best ways you can save energy by making changes to your home electricals:
You wouldn’t believe the level of impact small changes such as switching over to LED bulbs can have over your energy consumption.
LED (Light Emitting Diode) bulbs are not just energy-efficient but also cost-effective, long-lasting, and mercury-free, making them beneficial not only for you but also the environment.
The good news is that you don’t have to replace your existing fixtures and can easily replace all your incandescent bulbs with screw-in LEDs. Just keep in mind to replace them with comparable bulbs to match the brightness and performance of the previous ones.
You may find that LED bulbs have a higher upfront cost than traditional incandescent bulbs, but the prices have dropped significantly and become highly competitive now.
Regardless of the initial costs, you should look at LED bulbs as a long-term investment since the payback time is worth it.
The technology behind LED bulbs allows them to extensively outlast incandescent bulbs. In comparison to the latter that last for only 2000 hours, LEDs have a lifespan of 25,000 to 50,000 hours!
Other than that, you will be able to save a considerable amount of energy on LEDs. Upgrading to one LED bulb will reduce your energy consumption by 70% to 90%. Imagine how much that would mean in total savings if you switched all your current bulbs to energy-efficient LED bulbs.
Also, you may have noticed that when switched on, the regular bulbs in your home become hot to touch and give out a lot of heat. This is because of the way they operate using a filament that glows and produces energy, out of which 10% is used for light and the remaining 90% is wasted as heat.
This not only affects the longevity of the bulb but also contributes to the ambient temperature, raising it considerably, and let’s face it, with global warming on the rise, that is the last thing we should be doing.
In contrast, LED bulbs convert 95% of the energy into light and a mere 5% into heat which, at times, can be considered negligible.
Consumer units are an integral part of your home’s electricals and are what was previously known as fuse boxes. They are the newer and safer versions of fuse boxes, most of which are no longer compliant with the current UK wiring regulations.
Consumer units are the main control and distribution centre for a home’s power supply and are used to power all the circuits in your home.
A consumer unit must be checked by a qualified electrician at most every 10 years, and if you wish, you may have it done more frequently as well. This also applies when you are buying, selling, or renting out your property, without which you won’t be able to process the deal any further.
If you have an outdated or faulty consumer unit, you must upgrade it instantly since it can help improve your home’s electrical safety.
A faulty fuse board or consumer unit could put you and your family at risk, leading to electrical fires and a potential loss of life and property.
Upgrading your electrical consumer unit and distribution board to a modern and safer one will also increase your home’s energy efficiency by keeping all power overloading and electrical surges under control.
It won’t only help you conserve valuable energy but also save you money on utility bills and malfunctioning appliances caused by an inefficient and obsolete consumer unit.
Read our detailed guide on why you should upgrade your electrical consumer unit and how much it costs.
The advent of smart devices began with the popularity of the smartphone which has now become a regular day-to-day appliance. It has become difficult to imagine life without them, right?
Other notable smart devices include smartwatches, smart vehicles, smart tablets, smart doorbells, and smart locks.
What’s great is that by using smart devices and home automation solutions, you can turn your home into a smart home and manage all the operations efficiently and with ease.
Smart home automation systems allow you to save energy by controlling the lights, media, climate, security, video surveillance, and much more from the convenience of your smart device. They provide convenience and accessibility, regardless of where you are in the world.
Home automation systems lower your energy consumption and therefore the energy bills and expenses. They also help you lower your carbon footprint and are a great step towards embracing your responsibility for climate change.
Properly programmed controls for lighting, ceiling fans, temperature, and shades can all contribute towards great energy savings and can create great monthly savings for you and your family.
Motion sensor lights provide energy savings by automatically turning them off when no one is present in the room. This is a very handy feature, especially for forgetful individuals and kids.
There is no reason to keep the lights on in a room where no one is present, and so, motion sensor lights take care of turning them off if left on unnecessarily.
They can also be programmed to automatically dim in the morning if there is ample sunlight, or dim in the evening to set the mood and atmosphere.
Smart heating and cooling controls also allow you to adjust the temperature changes throughout the house to meet your requirements. You can set the system to turn down the heating or air conditioning when you are away from home, and crank it up as soon as you are about to head back.
Read our detailed guide on home automation solutions and how they can benefit you and the environment.
The entire world runs on electricity. From the smallest of appliances to the biggest of machines, everything needs electricity to run.
With that, the electricity demand has increased tenfold, but sadly, the supply is nowhere near it. What this results in is a supply deficit and unnecessary strain on the grid.
In addition to that, since still quite a lot of the energy produced by the grid is done through non-renewable resources such as coal, oil, and gas, it harms the environment and increases carbon emissions.
A great solution to this dilemma is for homeowners to generate their own electricity off-grid using natural resources such as the sun, wind, and water, all of which are 100% clean and in abundance.
This doesn’t only result in massive savings on your energy bills but also contributes towards a cleaner and greener world, and it is high time all of us played our part.
Renewable energy is also referred to as clean or green energy since the process of generating energy from them emits no, or hardly any, greenhouse gases, as opposed to using fossil fuels like coal, oil, and gas that release toxins into the air.
Two of the most common forms of renewable energy sources in the UK are sun and wind energy. If you wish to generate renewable energy off-grid, you can either install solar panels or wind turbines on your property, depending on what your area receives adequate of.
Solar panels take the sun’s rays and convert them into electricity that you can use to power your property and its appliances and devices.
When it comes to wind energy, the UK is Europe’s windiest country with approximately 40% of all the wind energy blowing over it. This gives it an edge in using and harnessing wind energy to produce clean and green energy.
Wind turbines generate electricity by using wind energy to turn the blades of the turbines. However, similar to solar panels that are dependent on sunlight, wind turbines are dependent on the wind and are unable to produce enough energy when there is no wind.
Read our detailed guide on generating renewable energy off-grid and how you can use and store it most efficiently.
The thing with solar and wind energy is that they are dependent on the sun and wind respectively, and fail to generate energy in their absence. For instance, solar panels will only generate electricity when the sun is shining and wind turbines will only generate electricity when the wind is blowing.
You have to rely on the grid at times when you are unable to generate your own electricity. The excess energy produced during the day and when the wind is blowing, that is not consumed by the users, is sent back to the grid to be distributed further.
Is there a way you can save this excess energy to be used later for your own use? Yes, there is! With battery storage systems, the excess electricity is stored in them instead of being sent back to the grid.
The amount of energy a battery can store depends on the capacity of the battery – the higher the capacity, the more energy it can store.
The additional energy is used to charge the batteries which, when the panels or turbines aren’t working, can be used to power the lights, charge electric vehicles (EVs), and other electricity-dependent devices in your home.
In addition to all of that, battery storage systems can also be used as a backup power source in the event of a power outage in your area.
The greatest benefit of battery storage systems is that they allow you to be completely independent of the grid. You can run your house on renewable energy 24/7, regardless of whether the sun is shining (or the wind is blowing) or not.
Also, if you live in an area where the power supply from the grid is somewhat unstable, you can gain peace of mind with a battery storage system knowing that you’ll always have an uninterrupted electricity supply to your property.
Due to the afforded flexibility, you can also substantially save on your electricity costs. You can take electricity from the grid when it is the cheapest and use it during the peak periods, creating a balance between grid energy and your own generated energy at the best possible rates.
In addition to lowering your energy costs, battery storage systems can actually help you earn money. After charging the battery to its full capacity, you can sell the excess energy to the grid and earn money off of it.
This helps you become an active contributor to a more sustainable environment along with getting paid for your services.
Flickering lights and power surges should never be taken lightly. At times, they may mean a one-off issue with a specific electrical appliance, but most of the time they are caused by faults in the house’s electrical installation.
Electrical faults may cause your bulbs, appliances, and equipment to malfunction and consume much more electricity than is needed. This, of course, results in a hefty electricity bill despite you not using all that energy.
Power surges may cause your house electrics to not just malfunction but also get completely damaged. This may result in huge monetary losses in getting them fixed and replaced. Appliances that usually get affected due to these power surges include bulbs, refrigerators, televisions, computers, and washing machines.
In addition to putting a financial burden on you, faulty wiring can be a serious safety hazard causing injuries, accidents, and even fires. Loose wires, overloading, overheating, and short-circuits can put all the occupants of the house at risk.
To prevent all these issues from arising, you must get your house electrics tested so that such risks can be instantly identified and any changes to the electrics can be made before they turn into a serious problem.
It is recommended under the wiring regulations BS 7671 that the electrical installations of a domestic property must be regularly inspected and tested every 5 to 10 years or if you are buying/selling the property.
All items that are not part of the fixed wiring of the property must undergo Portable Appliance Testing (PAT) every 3 to 12 months depending on the type of appliance and its usage.
Other times when you should get your house electrics tested include after major renovations or if the house is really old.
Major home renovations have the potential to change the layout of existing electrical installations and their components, which is why it is a good idea to get the house electrics tested after any such changes. These inspections can be especially beneficial if you are looking to sell your house after the renovations.
Another important time to consider getting your house electrics tested is if you are living in a really old house, such as one constructed in the ’40s. Old properties tend to have obsolete wiring and technology making them a hazard if used with modern-day equipment. Routine electrical inspections will ensure that all the installations comply with the current wiring standards and are safe to use.
Some indicators of faulty wiring and installations include:
Read our detailed guide for more information on how often you should get your house electrics tested and what it includes.
Calder Electrical has been providing electrical services to residential, commercial, and industrial properties for over 40 years and we are specialists in all aspects of electrical installations, maintenance, testing, and energy-saving practices.
We understand the importance of reducing your energy consumption that will not only help you lower your bills but also allow you to play your part in reducing harmful carbon emissions.
Our energy-saving services include installing smart systems for lighting and heating, installing or upgrading to energy-efficient products such as LED lighting, a wide range of smart home solutions, and ways to maximise an existing solar PV or wind turbine installation so that you can store excess energy rather than feeding it back into the grid.
Contact us here or call us on 0800 612 3001 for a detailed discussion on how you can make energy-saving changes to your home electricals.
Or would like us to provide a survey and quote then please contact us and we will be happy to help.Call us on 0800 612 3001