There are many of the items which should be examined to ensure that your home or organisation is using energy in the most sustainable manner. In most cases, eliminating inefficiencies can be done with little or no impact on how comfortable our homes are, and in the case of businesses can have beneficial impacts on equipment operation and life-spans.
|What is Climate Change?
Climate change refers to the phenomenon that is causing the earth to become warmer. This means that our climate and our weather systems are changing leading to more frequent extreme weather events. Today, the earth is warmer than it has been in two thousand years.
Most scientists now agree that humans are largely responsible for climate change. Most of the energy we use to heat our homes, for electricity and transport comes from fossil fuels such as oil, gas and coal. When fossil fuels are burned, they release carbon dioxide which has been trapped in the earth for thousands of years. Greenhouse gases cause the earth to heat up by trapping the sun’s heat in the earth’s atmosphere – acting like a greenhouse.
Climate change will cause a number of problems in Ireland including:
- Summer droughts, resulting in irrigation problems and competition for water
- Wetter winters leading to soil damage
- More coastal erosion and flooding
- Change in farming practices and crops grown in Ireland
- Change in fish stock
- New pests and diseases
What can we do to reduce energy use and combat climate change?
Every small action we do to be more energy efficient can have a significant impact in combating climate change. There are many ways that we can be more sustainable in how we use energy in our
homes. Using less energy will not only help to combat climate change, but you will also save money and make your home more comfortable.
Top ten tips:
- Turn your TV off rather than leave it on stand-by – equipment on stand-by uses up to 20% of the energy it would use when fully on
- Walk or cycle instead of driving short journeys – it costs nothing and is good for you
- Turn your heating down – reducing your thermostat by 1 degree Celsius will take 10% off your heating bill
- Buy ‘A’ rated kitchen appliances – they cost less to run and over time will give you considerable savings on your electricity bill
- Use energy efficient light bulbs (CFLs) instead of traditional bulbs – they use 20% energy and last up to 10 times as long
- Insulate your attic – attic insulation will keep the heat in your home for longer and pay for itself in 2-3 years
- Fit a lagging jacket – lagging your hot water cylinder will keep the water hotter for longer and pay for itself in 2-3 months
- Don’t overfill your kettle – only boil as much water as you need
- Fit thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs) to your radiators – TRV’s allow you to reduce the temperature of your rooms individually
- Support renewable energy initiatives in your community – a little help goes a long way