We all know that energy costs are spiralling. Of course the best way to cut bills is to get the community (like schools etc) to put big solar panels on roofs. These then have quick payback and can power the school, then sell (or even give) free energy to other homes in the community.
Stop wasting time on comparison sites (all pay commissions that are passed to you) and just use a good green company like Ecotricity (they don’t use animal waste fertiliser to make electricity and make gas from grass!) It’s far better to simply go through your home with a fine-toothed comb and discover where you use energy then reduce it.
Don’t advise people to turn down their thermostat by one degree, it may cause hypothermia in old people and pets. Likewise, those fan heaters could cause heatstroke (and cost more like much safer and gentler oil-powered radiators that you can buy from Argos).
Radfan is a radiator booster with a magnetic mounting system to install in 30 seconds, suitable for most homes. It can save the average home around £700 per year in bills.
Carbon Savvy has a free carbon calculator. Just bookmark then go through the quiz, the gradually follow the advice. You’ll save a fortune on your energy bills, especially if you live an older uninsulated home.
Insulate your home if you can afford it (many councils have grants). If you can’t afford proper double glazing, magnetic double glazing works just as well, for far less cost.
a fast-boil, energy-saving kettle
This fast-boil energy-saving kettle is getting rave reviews. Next time you need to replace your kettle, consider this model. Made by Russell Hobbs, it’s stylish with silver accents, and nice textures to match modern kitchen designs. But it saves up to to 66% energy when boiling water for a single cup, as it takes just 54 seconds to heat a big mug of tea. The kettle has cup markings to stop you overfilling the kettle, so you just boil the amount of water you need. You can buy a matching fast-energy-saving toaster.
Although kettles do cost more to run than instant hot water taps, most people can’t afford to install the latter (usually a few hundred pounds). But if you say run a restaurant or hotel, it may be worth it, as it works out considerably cheaper long-term.
do wind turbines harm birds & bats?
The London School of Economics says over 100,000 birds a year could be killed due to wind turbines. No doubt the solution is to use less energy and more solar power. But in a country that gains 40% of its energy from wind, it’s important to look at how to make existing turbines better. New ideas are placing turbines further apart, painting one blade and wind towers black (so birds can see them) and installing manmade islands to provide breeding habitats for seabirds. Building roads out to offshore parks is also harmful, which is why Ecotricity tends to place its turbines in urban areas. New bladeless turbines (which are kind of like tall vibrating wands) also claim to be bird-friendly.
Ecotricity is now focusing on bifacial solar panels, which make electricity from undersides by light reflected off the ground, therefore need less sun to work. Solar energy works more by daylight than sunlight, so as we are not Scandinavia (plunged into darkness for winter), this is a hopeful step. We have to get energy from somewhere, and this company is doing all it can to find new technologies to help.
Huddle is a bill-sharing service so you don’t pay more than you need. Just pay one payment to cover everything, it’s ideal for shared houses, and your credit score won’t be a affected if they can’t or won’t pay.
manifesto: the battle for Green Britain
Manifesto: The Battle for Green Britain is a wonderful book by Dale Vince, founder of Ecotricity (a company that refuses to burn animal carcasses to make energy and makes gas from grass!), Ecotalk (a phone network that uses profits for rewilding projects) and The Devil’s Kitchen (supplies vegan palm-oil free food to schools and caterers).
This Norfolk-born new age traveller (who took on the UK energy empire and won) left school at 15 and lived for free in a wind-powered double-decker bus. Since starting his eco empire, he’s bought a football club and turned it vegan, called out hypocritical MPs and become a UN ambassador for climate issues. He also offers lessons for any fledgling eco-entrepreneurs.
This is the story of a man whose unwavering mission to help save the planet, has driven him all the way to the top. And it’s a powerful manifesto for anyone who wants to save the world. Dale Vince knows his stuff and is not shy about showing up BS when he sees it – it’s saving the planet we’re talking about here, big stuff! He says that ‘we have all the technology we need to get to zero carbon and public opinion with us, the only thing holding us band is politicians’. He was mystified when former Prime Minister Liz Truss said she would bring back where local people wanted it (nobody wants it on their doorstep, as it causes cancer and makes tap water go on fire?)
He says key to topping climate change is getting everyone on board. Surprisingly, he says ‘don’t make it about polar bears but about the value of clean air and boosting the local economy’ then you’ll have more success. He’s actually friends with Nigel Farage and says he is a decent bloke that doesn’t talk over him, like some MPs. He says the issue is ‘myth and prejudice, rather than facts’. So he still believes he can get them on board, if only the Tories would stop this ‘old landowning mindset of being guardians of the countryside’.
The house building industry are major donors to the Tory party and today got a bung from Sunak and Gove, who removed water pollution protections from new house building, and dumped the cost on the taxpayer instead. That’s how they roll. Dale Vince
Enthralling, thought-provoking and I learned so much from it. Nor had I any idea that we had our own Archimedes living in the Cotswolds. Jilly Cooper