Introduction

Homes use a lot of energy: in 2018 the domestic sector used over 40 million tonnes of oil equivalent, making up nearly two thirds of final consumption along with transport. However, there is lots you can do to minimise the environmental impacts of the energy you use and limit the problems with conventional energy. The first thing to do is to avoid wasting energy by changing your habits and installing draught-proofing and insulation. Double-glazing is also worthwhile. With lighting and electrical equipment there are many ways of reducing the amount of electricity used. Then use the opportunity to choose your electricity supplier and go for greener electricity.

If you are installing a new heating system think carefully about what you need and what sort of fuel to use. Solar water heating can reduce hot water heating costs but requires some investment, as do photovoltaics and other renewable sources of energy.

Specialist renewable energy suppliers can provide advice. Renewable energy has become an increasingly popular choice for many due to concerns about energy security, fear of ever rising oil prices, the threat of climate change and needing lower energy bills. In 2018, renewable sources of energy accounted for over 33% of all electricity generated – the highest figure on record. Amongst increasing discussion of the impact of climate change, the Government has introduced initiatives to reduce energy consumption such as installation of smart meters and stricter building regulations.