It can be difficult to live in one of the busiest, oldest cities in the world while remaining green. However, London has set an ambitious aim to be Zero Carbon by 2050.
How energy-efficient is your home or business?
You may be very eco-conscious, using electric vehicles, buying locally grown produce, eating less meat, supporting sustainable tourism, and voting for renewable power, but do you know how energy efficient your home really is?
The best way to find out is by having a professional Energy Performance Certificate (EPC) assessment by a professional company, and it’s surprisingly affordable.
EPC London encourages homeowners to organise a full report on how energy efficient your property really is. An EPC takes into consideration the size of your property as well as the type of lighting, windows, insulation, heating, and hot water systems you use. Once all their calculations have been made, they will give you an official EPC certificate with a ranking from A (very energy-efficient) to G (very poor).
According to government statistics published in Q4 2018, most new buildings easily achieve a B rating with the majority of existing properties falling in the D category.
As well as rating your property with its current energy efficiency rating, an EPC report will suggest ways to improve your energy efficiency. It will show the potential annual savings that these improvements are likely to deliver along with the potential EPC rating once the improvements have been implemented.
In short, an EPC helps you make an informed decision about making your property more eco-efficient.
Tips for becoming more energy-efficient
Once you’ve checked out the recommended changes from your EPC report, you can do more to help reduce your carbon footprint.
Take care of your thermostat!
Consider lowering your thermostat when you are asleep, at work, or away from home in winter. It will not only save the planet – it will also save you money! Official reports show that turning your central heating down by 3-4 degrees C for eight hours a day will reduce your fuel bill by around 10% over the year. Install and use a programmable thermostat so you don’t forget!
Upgrade your windows
Check windows. You may have double glazing, but it is useless if the seals leak or there are gaps between the frame and the brickwork. It’s easy to add foam weatherstrip for poor sealing windows and add filler to gaps.
Watch what you eat and where it comes from
Eating less beef and lamb reduces the natural production of methane, a natural emission by these grazing animals. Scientists believe methane may be a significant contributor to climate change, so it’s worth eating responsibly.
Flights are another source of carbon dioxide which is produced when fuel is burnt. Aviation fuel emissions are 3.15 grams per gram of fuel burnt, so a Boeing 737-400 cruising at 780km/hr releases around 90kg carbon dioxide into the atmosphere every hour. You may avoid travelling by air, but what about the food you eat? Shopping locally can save air mileage from imported food and you get the added benefit of supporting your local markets and shops!
Watch your water and electric usage
Living in a temperate climate, we tend to think there’s an endless supply of water, but it comes at a price. Avoid leaving the tap running while brushing your teeth or shaving and opt for a low-flow shower over a bath.
You can reduce electric usage by unplugging cell phone and battery chargers when not required. You may be surprised to learn that the average charger consumes 0.26 watts of energy when not in use and that increases to 2.24 watts when connected to your phone.
Laundry can also be a big spike on electricity usage. Wait until you have a full load before pushing the on button and use an eco programme at 30℃ when possible to save on water and power. If possible, line dry your washing or use a drying rack in the bathroom. If you have to resort to the tumble-dryer, using dryer balls not only eliminates static, they keep the laundry from tangling so the load dries faster.
Are your ready to do your bit to get London Zero Carbon by 2050? It starts with you!