General ramblings

And They're Off!

Did you know that it is estimated that between 25 and 30% of the UK’s energy expenditure is down to households-you and me.
So, it therefore follows, that actually any changes that we can make in our own individual household energy expenditure, could make a big difference to the carbon footprint of our nation-collective action!

I blogged last week about The B&QGreat Energy Race-a competition from the Observer Ethical Awards that we are taking part in to save energy (and therefore cash!) over the coming month. And it starts TODAY!
On Friday we had a visit from the lovely Eddy-an energy advisor from B&Q, who came to do an EPC rating on our house, and assess us in terms of our energy efficiency, before the race starts.
And, drumroll please, our EPC rating is……’A’.
Which is obviously pretty cool, but I fear leaves us very little scope to improve and (most importantly, obviously 😉 )win the race.
We live in a modern house, that was built in 2010, and so is pretty hot on insulation and what not, and already has energy saving fittings for the lights etc etc. When we had an EPC done prior to having the solar panels fitted, the house was calculated to be a ‘C’. But with the addition of the panels, and a few changes to how various things are assessed, we are now an ‘A’, and as such, there were no formal recommendations as to measures we could take to improve on this 🙁

But fear not. I am not downhearted!
I am seeing this as a Challenge, with a capital C.
I think it will be really interesting to explore all the little tweaks we can make, both in terms of our behaviours (like turning off the bl**dy lights!!!!) and in terms of energy saving gadgets and gizmos.
Hubby is VERY excited, in true boy style, at the mention of Gadgets and Gizmos, and his eyes lit up when he was told we had a Gift Card for B&Q pre-loaded with £250 to spend on just such things. BUT being a devoted Make Do and Mender, I also want to take a look at slightly more ‘rustic’ or homemade versions of modern fancy gizmos. So I can’t promise that we will fulfil the challenge within our Buy Nothing New ethos (I am guessing that things like LED lightbulbs are pretty hard to source secondhand…), but I will do my best to provide no-cost, low-cost alternatives whenever we do discuss a fancy pants gadget.

We have done a spot of Pre-Race Research-hubby and the Smalls spent a happy rainy morning, racing up and down the aisles of B&Q; we’ve done a little light Googling, and we’ve got this book out of the library.

Green Your Home1
But I really want this to be interactive, and to get as many hints and tips as possible from the super energy savvy readers of this blog (that’s you by the way). So any ideas you have, for behavioural adaptations, recommendations for gadgets, experiences of things you have tried, I want to hear them! We are kicking off tomorrow with all things kitchen related, so get your thinking caps on 🙂

You can leave a comment here, you can tweet me (@makeandmendyear) or comment on the Facebook page.
I plan to revert to blogging every day (shhh, haven’t told hubby this yet…) for the duration of the Race, so hopefully I can share all your ideas, and hopefully we can ALL make some changes, and even if our house hasn’t jumped up an EPC band, then maybe some of yours might!

Wish me luck 🙂

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  • Reply Pam Hill March 18, 2014 at 1:10 am

    Congratulations on both counts then lol. U won’t have to use ur gift Card all at once so maybe the kids might fancy a change of room colour or feature of wallpaper or yourselves etc. as most have a really long shelf life you could do it as your own pace.

    For the benefit of us without solar panels who’d love some, TODAY IKEA have many stores now featuring a partner quoting for low-cost panels, inc. installation. Eg average home would be £6K But free scheme available cheaper than Green Deal. But even better IKEA, WITH A FAMILY CARD, will reduced this further by 15%!!! Hence my quote rushed to me tonight.

    • Reply Jen March 18, 2014 at 8:07 am

      The card has to be used for energy saving thing Pam, not sure the judges would be that impressed if I submitted an expenses form with paint and decorating bits on it! Useful info re the solar panels, thanks

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