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Five questions on: Energy saving week


Great. A chance to loaf about, yes?

No. Energy Saving Week, which starts on Monday 27 January, is not an excuse to save your own energy, but a focus on making better use of the energy, through heating and lighting, you use in your home.

Yawn. Is this just about the importance of turning appliances off?

It's much more than that, although turning appliances off rather than leaving them in standby mode is an obvious way to save energy and cut bills. According to the Energy Saving Trust, between 9-16 per cent of the electricity consumed in homes is used to power appliances when they are on standby. On a bill of £500 this could account for £80.

OK. What else should I be doing?

There are lots of things. Get LED light bulbs, for instance. They use up to 85 per cent less energy than a Halogen 50 watt equivalent. At an average cost of £15 a year, that'd save you £12 a year on electricity costs if you use them on average 5-6 hours a day. Or get your loft insulated. It's not cheap but loft insulation will typically pay for itself in two to three years through regular savings on your winter heating bill.

If I take action, will it really save me money?

It will save you a packet. Better insulation means less heat escapes, warmer homes and lower bills. Being aware of needless energy use will help you save it. "There are lots of ways for people to improve their homes' energy performance," says James Alcock of TheGreenAge.

OK, I'm convinced. Where can I find out more?

There's lots of help and guidance on the internet. First try www.energysavingtrust.org.uk for information, advice and details about any grants you may be eligible for. Or go to www.thegreenage.co.uk/free-ways-to-save-money-on-energy-bills for a range of tips.