10 big changes Greener energy
This article, 10 big changes, was last updated on 27 March 2009 and is now out of date and held in our online archive for reference. Explore our latest Home & garden articles.
Make your own energy
Cut your energy bill and reduce reliance on fossil fuels by installing a solar- or wind-powered energy system in your home.
Small domestic wind turbines can in some cases - when installed properly and in a location with suitable wind speeds - provide 30 to 35% of an average home’s electricity needs, and pay for themselves in 8-10 years.
When it comes to solar power, the average household can save about 50% of the annual cost of providing hot water using a solar heating system. They cost around £2-3,000 and government grants are available. Check out our for recommended products.
You may need planning permission to install a wind turbine such as the Windsave wind turbine, so check with your local council before fitting a renewable energy system.
UK homes account for more than a quarter of the UK's carbon dioxide emissions, so if more of us started using renewable energy, we could make a real impact on the environment. Find our more in our guide to buying solar panels.
Energy audit your home
Start reducing carbon emissions at home by taking a home energy check and acting on the results.
Almost half the UK's carbon dioxide emissions come from energy we use every day - at home and when we travel. By saving energy we can all help fight climate change.
The Energy Saving Trust offers a free personalised action plan to those who take the Home Energy Check survey on its website. It also estimates how much money you could save each year by implementing its energy-saving advice.
Energy-saving tips include:
- Insulate lofts and walls to save energy
- Fit a time clock programmer to a heating system
- Upgrade to a more energy-efficient boiler
- Turn off lights when you leave a room
- Double glaze your windows
- Fit a water tank jacket
Reduce your carbon footprint
Calculate your carbon footprint and discover ways to reduce the carbon emissions generated to run your day to day life.
Your carbon footprint takes into consideration all aspects of your lifestyle, from energy bills to the way you travel to work.
According to DirectGov, 40% of the UK’s carbon emissions come from the personal actions of private individuals. Measuring and reducing your carbon footprint is a straightforward way to reduce the impact of greenhouse gas emissions we create each time we heat our homes, fly on holiday or turn on our computers.
Leaving your car at home is a great way to start and will also cut costly fuel bills. There are various organisations that can help you make greener travel choices. Liftshare is a UK wide ‘budi’ service that aims to partner travellers moving by bicycle, car or on foot.
Measure your carbon footprint and learn how to reduce it using DirectGov’s online carbon footprint calculator.