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Renewables Energy Saving Tips To Celebrate Big Energy Saving Week

Everyone’s talking about saving energy – not only to save the planet through reduced CO2 emissions, but we all need to make our pennies go a little further. It’s not always easy to know what to do though, so Big Energy Saving Week might be just the thing you’re looking for to get some energy saving tips and advice. Read on to find out how you can not only save money for your setting and help the planet, but we’ve also listed some ways that you can help the families in your setting too.

What is Big Energy Saving Week?

Big Energy Saving Week is an initiative to help people take control of their energy consumption and help the planet with energy saving tips. At its heart, Big Energy Saving Week aims to help people:

  • Reduce their energy consumption and waste with simple energy saving tips.
  • Give them the tools and confidence to switch energy suppliers to get the best deal.
  • Improve home and business energy efficiency.
  • Get available financial incentives and support.
  • Save money.

The week was created in 2012 in partnership with Citizen's Advice, the Energy Saving Trust and the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. In 2024, it runs from the 17 to the 23rd of January and there are now many other charities and organisations that also run campaigns to raise awareness during the week.

What's Happening With Energy?

We all need energy to heat our homes and businesses, cook our food and help us work and move around in the modern world. There are different forms of energy that we use: liquid fuels such as oil, diesel, and petrol; solid fuels such as coke, coal and wood; and gaseous forms such as natural gas, propane and methane. Many of these fuels are not considered ‘green’ as burning them releases carbon dioxide into the atmosphere which is a greenhouse gas adding to global warming.

Renewables such as wind, solar, hydrothermal and wave power are cleaner forms of energy which do not contribute to global warming or other environmental concerns such as air pollution.

In recent years, due to supply issues caused by global conflicts, homes and businesses in the Western world have seen the price of energy soar, leading to many governments having to step in to help their citizens with energy costs. The price is now falling but analysts expect this will be a slow process. Whilst we wait for the price of renewable energy to fall, many of us need help.

Energy Saving Tips - How To Reduce Your Energy Usage And Bills

Getting involved in the week can lead to long-term savings and it doesn’t have to take a lot of time or effort. Here are some ways that you and your families can participate:

Check your energy bills

This is crucial to see if you are on the best tariff for you. Don’t fall into the trap of just letting things roll on without regularly checking to see if you have the best deal. There are a lot of internet comparison sites and a search for “energy comparison sites” will give you options. Switching to a different supplier could save you hundreds of pounds a year. Remember too that dual fuel tariffs (gas and electricity together) are usually cheaper and paying by direct debit also usually attracts a discount.

Get some energy advice

Go onto the Energy Saving Trust site or Citizen’s Advice to find out about different ways to heat your home or business. Things change so change with them. A hundred years ago, most houses used coal in real fires, but nowadays most of us have central heating. But boilers are changing and there are now lots of options for heating such as solar panels and ground or air heat pumps. There is no ‘one size fits all’ as it will depend on the building, its location, and environmental factors as to which solution is the best for you.

Seek out financial help

The UK Government energy payments stopped in March 2023, but there are many other ways you may be able to get help. Depending on your circumstances, you may be eligible for additional money to help with your bills, or grants to install better systems especially if anyone in your household claims a benefit.

There are sites and articles dedicated to helping with this including the Green Energy Assist website. 

Upgrade your insulation/boiler

This is a big one for reducing energy costs. The more efficient a building is at keeping heat in, the cheaper it will be to heat. Insulation is traditionally in the loft, but you can add it to floors and walls too. Older boilers can be wasteful and inefficient so installing a newer one or a heat pump may save you money in the long run. You may be eligible for a grant, so ask at Citizen’s Advice or on one of the energy-saving advice websites.

10 Quick Energy Saving Tips

  • Turn your thermostat down one degree.
  • Bleed your radiators to boost efficiency.
  • Upgrade to a smart meter.
  • Install thermostats on individual radiators and only heat the rooms you need.
  • Use dishwashers and washing machines with a full load.
  • Turn off all lights and appliances when not in use: don’t leave on standby.
  • Use draft excluders or curtains to keep the heat in.
  • Only boil the water you need in a kettle.
  • Ditch the car and use public transport, cycle or walk.
  • Put on an extra jumper instead of turning the heating up.

Part of the Big Energy Saving Week is also to share ideas and information with others, so why not send some information about the week to your families to help them too? There are media packs available from Citizen’s Advice including hashtags and posters.

Involving The Children

It’s never too early to teach children ways that they can save energy and look after our world, so here are some ideas to get them involved:

  • Show age-appropriate videos explaining about energy and how we can all use it more efficiently.
  • Set up some simple experiments to demonstrate energy to children – you could use some solar-powered lights, a small water pump or a battery-driven toy.
  • Make some handheld windmills for the children to play with to demonstrate wind power.
  • Tell stories about renewable energy and how it is helping the world.
  • Ask the children to come up with ideas to help save energy in your setting.
  • Explain how wearing the right clothing will help them feel warmer.
  • Set up a treasure hunt showing where energy is used in your setting.
  • Encourage families to car share on journeys to/from the nursery.

If you're struggling financial, consider reading out blog on how to survive the cost of living crisis here.

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