What we can do to help off-set rising energy bills

March 7th, 2011 by Richard Lord

We are not powerless to accept rising fuel prices.  We can take measures to reduce our fuel use and therefore not suffer the consequences of paying ever greater sums of money for our energy bills and for travelling around Guernsey.  The cost of energy may be volatile but the trend is for rising prices and it would be beneficial to take steps now to minimise the energy we waste.

The cost of energy will effect us all.  It will impact the price of goods and services.  Some of us may already be in a position where we cannot afford the escalating cost of energy. Many of us have a choice to reduce our energy use and therefore our energy bills to off-set the rising cost.

SustainableGuernsey encourages Guernsey residents to ask the States of Guernsey for assistance to improve home and business energy efficiency similar to the schemes provided by the States of Jersey Environment Department.¹

Tips for paying less for energy

Reduce car fuel expenses

  • Drive smoothly to reduce fuel use.  Accelerating towards a yellow or a red traffic light wastes fuel.  Accelerating to overtake only to brake again wastes fuel. Drive away smoothly from a standstill.
  • Keep car tires inflated to the correct pressure.
  • Service your car to make sure it is running efficiently.
  • Consider car sharing with a neighbour or with a work colleague
  • Consider walking or bicycling if it is convenient.
  • Consider fuel efficiency when purchasing a new vehicle.

Reduce the cost of your home (and business) energy bills

  • Check for cold air draughts in your home from a chimney, from a letterbox opening, from under doors, from fan vents and take steps to minimise the draught where possible.  Install draught excluders under doors and close the chimney opening when not in use.
  • Close curtains and blinds at night to minimise heat escaping through windows
  • Turn the lights off when you leave a room
  • If you have a clothes dryer minimise its use and plan your washing for sunny days when you can air-dry your clothes.
  • If you have a dish washer only turn it on when it is full.
  • If making toast for a family fill the toaster up to meet demand rather than toasting one slice of bread at a time
  • When boiling water only put the amount of water in the kettle required for immediate use.
  • Reduce hot water use by taking shorter showers or smaller baths.
  • Wear warm clothing indoors and reduce the thermostat temperature

Other methods of reducing home and business energy use costs money initially but will be economically worthwhile over time.  You can:

  • Install loft or ceiling space insulation
  • Insulate interior walls or apply external wall insulation
  • change your incandescent lightbulbs for LEDs.  Light-emitting diodes will come down in price substantially by the end of this year or early next year according to manufacturers.
  • Install solar thermal panels on your roof. Correctly-sized panels should be able to supply about 60% of your hot water needs over the year.
  • If you have an inefficient boiler replace it with a ground source or an air source heat pump.  Your home should be well-insulated first.
  • When your home or business is draught-proof install a heat recovery ventilation system.

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1.  The States of Jersey energy efficiency scheme
2.  Building energy efficiency should be a priority for Guernsey
3.  Comments on future oil supplies from former Chief Petroleum Engineer for BP and former VP of Saudi Aramaco
4. Home energy efficiency measures work
5. “Oil Price Shock; you ain’t seen nothing yet” in The Telegraph on 4 March 2011

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