With the electricity prices going up and economic opportunity going down, now is the time to re-evaluate how we use energy in the UK, and the Energy Saving Trust is doing just that. With the 2020 goal for cutting carbon emissions getting closer, the organisation reports that they have seen a rise in the use of household electricity. And you won’t believe what’s to blame.
Gadgets. From plugging in your iPad to charging your smart phone, the more you fiddle with gadgets, the higher your energy bill is likely to be. The UK’s obsession with getting the latest and greatest devices on the market may make citizens look trendy and in the know, but it is slowly burning a hole in their pockets.
When it comes to household energy, some of the biggest energy drains include plasma screen televisions, wireless Internet routers, and extra capacity refrigerators. UK households are found to have more than three times the number of gadgets as they possessed just two decades ago. And over the past four decades, the energy that those gadgets require has increased six fold.
You may not want to do away with your iPad just yet, though. There are some energy saving measures that you can employ in the home to balance the scales a little. You can start by making sure that you’re getting the best tariff possible when you compare energy prices. This will ensure that no matter how much energy you’re using, you won’t be stuck paying too much for it.
But we should all keep an eye toward conservation as well because not only is it good for your energy bills but it is also good for the planet. So start by unplugging all of those devices when you’re not using them, especially if they run on standby power. Your television, your computer, your stereo–they all still use about 70 per cent of their regular required power even when you turn them off, putting a huge and unnecessary drain on your energy budget.
You could also benefit from using electricity at off-peak times. Since your power costs less at night time, try charging all of your devices later in the day to save money. And when you’re thinking of cooking or doing the laundry, late evening and night time are also best for using the oven and the clothes dryer, especially in the summer.
Not all devices are energy drains, however. Getting gadgets like a programmable thermostat and low-flow shower heads are actually good for your energy consumption because they encourage you to be more efficient. And as long as you’re doing installations, you may want to consider reinforcing your home’s insulation and adding weather-stripping to the doors and windows to save energy.
As we become more technologically savvy as a nation, we must also work to think of ways to save the power that we need to operate these gadgets. The true test of innovation is balancing it with everything that came before, and the UK’s energy goals for 2020 are the perfect example.