Last article of Angela Terry
Angela Terry, green activist and consumer expert, separates climate change fact from fiction and explains here how you can take simple, practical steps to help save the planet. Follow @ouronehome and visit https://onehome.org.uk/ for more advice.
Q: Can my smart meter help me save money on my bills?
This can help you control your energy consumption.
By itself, it can’t reduce your bills, but it does provide you with a great tool to understand where and when you can reduce your energy consumption.
What is a smart meter?
Smart meters accurately measure your gas and electricity consumption and transmit this information to your energy supplier via a remote connection.
This means you only pay for the actual energy you used rather than an estimate.
Over 40% of all home and small business meters are now smart.
Every home and office in England, Scotland and Wales will have received one free by mid-2025.
Second generation smart meters are compatible with any supplier, so you can always switch suppliers.
To save money
Smart meters can help you reduce your energy consumption, save money and reduce your carbon footprint.
By using information from your smart meter, you can save money around your home.
For example, you can identify times and situations when you use more energy.
This can help you determine which devices are consuming power unnecessarily, such as computers or televisions on standby.
You can also determine how much energy your washing machine saves by switching to eco mode or line drying instead of the dryer.
To get the most out of your smart meter, it helps to know your home display (IHD), the small screen that shows your energy usage.
It lets you know your energy consumption in terms of kilowatt hours (kWh) and pounds and pence.
On most screens, you can choose to see this data in daily, weekly, or monthly form.
You can also see real-time data, allowing you to calculate the power consumption of particular devices.
Some meters display power consumption as a graph, allowing you to see peaks and troughs over time.
Finally, you can use the screen to check if your spending is higher than usual, as it displays historical consumption.
Having a smart meter will allow you to take advantage of “time-of-use” rates, which means it will cost you less to use energy at off-peak times.
You might even get paid to use electricity, for example on a windy day when there is a lot of power generated by wind farms.
We’re already starting to see some of these fare, like Octopus Energy’s Agile Octopus.
Former Manchester United footballer Chris Smalling has launched a venture capital fund to invest in eco-friendly start-ups.
He wants to attract other high profile personalities to support the planet with him. Called ‘ForGood, his fund will invest between £50,000 and £1million in companies that “tackle the world’s biggest environmental challenges, such as climate change”.
Currently signed to Roma, Smalling is known for following a plant-based diet and previously invested in vegan food company Heura.
Shop online instead of driving to supermarkets.
Surveys show that shopping online brings significant environmental benefits.
On average, online purchases generate 36% less emissions than in-store visits, even taking into account packaging and the percentage of returns.
Good tips for spending an eco-responsible camping holiday
Camping is a fantastic way to enjoy the great outdoors.
However, it’s best to tread lightly on your surroundings when staying under canvas.
The UK is full of beautiful places.
You don’t have to maximize your carbon footprint by driving for days.
Also try to keep car travel to a minimum during your stay.
Some campsites are close to bus or train stations.
Traveling by public transport also contributes to soaring gas prices.
Rent a tent
We have all seen the terrible images after festivals where many people left their tents behind.
Although some tents are inexpensive, they are not disposable items.
At the same time, buying lots of camping gear and storing it in the garage for most of the year doesn’t make environmental or financial sense either.
If you don’t have the space at home to store bulky equipment, why not try renting?
You can hire tents and gear online from Ibex Camping, Contented Camping or Outdoor Hire.
They will send your articles to you by courier. Or ask a friend to borrow theirs.
Choose a green campsite
It is a good idea to choose an ecological campsite.
The Greener Camping Club offers an online directory of small, quiet, low-impact, eco-friendly campsites. Campsites.co.uk also offers 215 eco-friendly campsites that put nature at the heart of their business.
Please try to avoid disposable barbecues.
Campfires can be fun, but they’re not exactly efficient when it comes to cooking.
Moreover, they are increasingly dangerous as catalysts for wildfires.
This is why many campsites do not allow disposable barbecues, so please follow the rules.
You can now buy small wood-burning camp stoves that can run on wood handles, as well as pine cones and grass.
Decathlon’s Quechua camping stove costs around £60, while German brand Bushcraft Essentials offers a collapsible Bushbox for around £30.
BioLite offers a wood-burning camping stove, £175, which also has a USB port, so you can use it to charge your mobile.
Leave the place as you found it, taking all your trash with you.
The trick is to bring as few disposable things as possible.
Many campsites offer recycling and composting facilities, so it’s a good idea to sort your waste or take it to a municipal facility.
fact or fiction
Idling your car’s engine causes air pollution.
Air pollution causes 36,000 premature deaths each year in the UK. The main cause is road traffic fumes.
Turn off your car, especially near schools. Causes less emissions to turn it off and on again.
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This notice was published: 2022-06-25 07:03:00