There are few people in the world who do not accept the need for action on climate change. Even in this country, we have experienced sustained weather patterns that were rare just a few decades ago. In summer there have been record temperatures and drought, and serious flooding can occur at almost any time of year. Positive measures have to be taken on a global scale to change our future for the best, but also we are being encouraged as individuals to make a contribution towards energy efficiency in our homes.
What do we mean by energy and by energy efficiency
People sprout on about energy saving as if it were something we could bottle or put in the bank. It is a rather nebulous term that can mean a great many things. Electricity is perhaps the most familiar form of energy that all of us consume in our homes. But when we talk about using less electricity, what we really are aiming for is saving in the fuels that we are used to generating that power. Similarly, when we do our best to prevent heat escaping from our homes, we are attempting to conserve the stocks of gas and oil that will one day run out.
No one wants to do without the benefits of modern living that we derive from consuming gas, oil and electricity – but if we make investments in insulation and draught proofing, for example, we can enjoy the same levels of comfort at less cost to the environment. In other words, we are more energy efficient. Similarly, if we operate and control our central heating systems with more care, we can reduce the amount of fuel we burn without feeling any discomfort. Energy efficiency has more to do with the careful management of resources than with having to do without home comforts.
Why save water?
That is a reasonable question when we live in a country that seems to get more than its fair share of rain. Try convincing householders up to their knees in flood water that they shouldn’t use a hosepipe next time they want to water the garden. Unfortunately, when we experience such variations in weather, it can be difficult to appreciate the fuller picture. The truth is, despite the downpours, we have experienced summer after summer of comparative drought, and there is no reason at the moment to assume this will not continue. To enjoy the quality of water that is piped into our homes, all of us have to pay a great deal of money for purification and maintenance of the system. So, if nothing else, it makes economic sense to reduce unnecessary wastage, however we can.
Living in the real world
The last thing this website aims to do is preach to you about your duty to do something about climate change. It is a website that seeks to offer simple advice with instructions on how you can appear, maintain and improve your home and, in so doing, reduce your fuel bills. You will, incidentally, be doing your bit towards mitigating the effects of global warming.
We also have to acknowledge that it is simply not possible for everyone to bring their homes up to the standards recommended by government agencies. Older homes, of which there are many thousands in this country, were built with different criteria than those used today. We can do a great deal to make them more energy efficient, but not to the extent of destroying irreparably the charm and historic value of our unique housing stock.
Most of us can turn down heating a degree or two without noticing the difference, but elderly home owners and residents require a higher ambient temperature just to feel tolerably warm, Aspirations and realities have to be balanced. Fine measures suggested on this website that can make a difference to your budget and help the environment without you having to make unacceptable sacrifices.