My studio faces West so the sun doesn’t get round this side ’til late morning at this time of year. It’s a beautiful sunny, mild day today but I’m chilly sitting still. It’s tempting to whack the heating up a notch or two but recent energy price hikes have made me wary of piling on the £s. Anyway, the cats and I are the only ones home during the day and it’s silly to warm the whole house just to keep one small room and three furry creatures warm.
All of which has set me thinking. It’s all very well saving energy but it’s easier and more fun when you have a target to aim for. I’ve just dug out our bills for the last 12 months and I’ve decided to aim for the same electricity and gas expenditure this year. So we’ll need to save between 12% and 20% worth of leccy and gas over the coming year to keep our bills at the same level, which is roughly what gas and electric prices have gone up by.
As an ex-Northener living in the South East I’m fairly frost-hardy. But poor Tony goes pale blue at the first sign of autumn and shivers his way through winter. Bearing that in mind, here’s ten simple ways we’ll be saving energy in autumn and winter 2011/2012 instead of turning the thermostat up.
- wearing three layers: a t-shirt or thermal vest (ladies, you can get pretty lacy ones), a thin jumper then a thick jumper, traps warm air between the layers and keeps you toasty
- wear woolly socks – thermal socks are fab, a real feet-treat!
- set the heating to come on and go off to suit your lifestyle, reflecting when you’re in the house rather than having it on 100% of the time
- do the same with your radiators, turning them down in rooms you rarely use and maintaining yummy warmth in the places you use often. Keep the doors shut to retain heat. As my dad used to say, “Put wood in’t hole”!
- turn the radiator in your bedroom off completely. It’s much better for your health to sleep in a cool room with some ventilation rather than in a moist, sweaty fug
- bung on an extra- thick duvet or invest in a flexible duvet solution for couples who run hot and cold. They’re brilliant things. I spend the whole year snug under 3.5 togs even when it’s snowing outside. Tony buttons two extra layers onto his side and spends his nights frying gently under 10.5 togs, rain or shine
- cuddle up. There’s nothing like getting up close and intimate with your lover, family and pets to generate warmth and happiness!
- hang door curtains to keep draughts out and add curtains to your windows for the autumn and winter if you have blinds
- go round the house applying strips of draught excluder to windows and doors wherever chilly breezes sneak their way in
- if you haven’t already done it, take advantage of government and local council grants for insulating your loft space and cavity walls and fitting double glazing. Add an extra layer of loft insulation for good measure