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What can I do?

Living more sustainably has multiple benefits. By conserving energy and becoming more efficient in the way we use our planets resources we are helping to ensure future generations will be able to utilise those same resources in their lives. We are also minimising our impact upon global warming and the potentially catastrophic long term effects of climate change.

It also has the welcome additional benefit of saving us money!

Listed here is some information on how you can live more sustainably and some other organisations where you can obtain further details.

Water Conservation

Severn Trent Water is responsible for supplying water to all homes within Ashfield District. They are committed to reducing energy consumption and offer free products, tips and advice to help achieve this.

Some basic tips are listed below but for further information contact Severn Trent Water at:

Internet: http://www.stwater.co.uk/

Phone: 08457 500 500

And the Environment Agency website at:

http://www.environment-agency.gov.uk/

Some tips for saving water in the home

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  • Save the cold water that comes through before a tap runs hot, and use it to water plants
  • Keep a jug of water in the fridge instead of waiting for the tap to run cold
  • Turn off the taps when you're brushing your teeth or shaving
  • Wash fruit and vegetables in a washing-up bowl full of water instead of under a running tap
  • If you haven't already, you could contact your water company for advice on fitting a water meter
  • Half-load programmes on dishwashers and washing machines use more than half the water of a full load - so wait until you have a full load
  • A 5-minute shower uses about a third of the water of a bath. (NB power showers can use more water than a bath in less than 5 minutes)
  • Old toilet cisterns can use as much as 9 litres of clean water every flush. Reduce this by placing a 'save-a-flush' or 'hippo' bag in the cistern
  • Cotton wool and tissues should be put in a waste bin rather than flushed down the toilet
  • Dripping taps can waste up to 4 litres of water a day so replace worn tap washers

and in the garden

  • Water your garden using watering cans rather than hoses or sprinklers and target water around the base of plants
  • Install a water butt and use rain water on your garden
  • Use surface mulches, such as wood chips or bark, to help prevent water evaporation from soil
  • Use water retaining crystals in hanging baskets and containers. These are available from most gardens centres and reduce the need for watering
  • Use drought tolerant planting such as thyme, evening primrose, rock rose, Californian poppy, lavender, buddlea and hebes
  • Where possible move containers into the shade to limit their water demand and water in the evenings to reduce evaporation

Energy Efficiency

You can save money and make your home more comfortable by making your home more energy efficient, adding extra insulation, better heating, or buying energy saving appliances. These will all help reduce the amount of fuel you use in your home which will save you money, and help the environment. When we use energy, carbon dioxide is released into the atmosphere; using less energy means less carbon dioxide is released. Carbon dioxide is one of the main gases contributing to climate change.

Around one quarter of the carbon dioxide emissions in the UK come from energy used in our homes.

Contact your utility company who also offer incentives and tariffs to help reduce costs and consumption. Their number can be found on your gas and electricity bills.

Alternatively, the Energy Saving Trust offer comprehensive advice and information on all energy saving initiatives including insulation, electrical appliances, heating and hot water, renewable energy and information on how to take practical action.

For further information contact the Energy Saving Trust on:

Internet: www.energysavingtrust.org.uk/

Phone: 0300 123 1234

Email: energy-advice@est.org.uk.

Top 10 tips for saving energy in the home;

Here are our top ten tips for saving you money and valuable energy.

Tip 1 – Insulation

Why lose up to 35% of the heat from your home through the walls and up to another 25% through the roof when you could install cavity wall and loft insulation? You could save money on your heating bills by installing cavity wall insulation and by topping up the insulation in your loft.

Tip 2 – Heating

Turn down your thermostat by just 1°C and you’ll cut your fuel bills by up to 10%. You’ll notice the saving, but not the drop in temperature.

Tip 3 - Hot Water

Insulating your hot water cylinder with a lagging jacket should pay for itself in months! Nip in the shower rather than filling a bath, and take a close look at your cylinder thermostat – there’s no need for it to be set higher than 60°C/140°F.

Tip 4 - Lighting

Energy saving light bulbs last up to 10 times longer than ordinary light bulbs. Swapping all the inefficient bulbs in your home for energy-saving alternatives you could save around £50 per year.

Tip 5 - Cooking

Keep a lid on it – the saucepan that is! Use just enough water to cover vegetables; not a pan-full. And try using the microwave rather than the oven – that’ll save money too.

Tip 6 – Washing

Washing at 30°C uses about 40% less electricity than at a higher temperature. Try to wash full loads. If you can’t, use a half load or economy programme instead.

Tip 7 – Appliances

Look out for the energy efficiency rating whenever you buy new appliances. “A” rated appliances are the most efficient and cheapest to run. Switching to an Energy Saving Recommended washing machine could cut your energy use by up to a third compared to an old washing machine.

Tip 8 – Don’t standby, switch off

The lazy option costs the UK nearly £1 billion worth of energy each year. Stretch a little and save a lot.

Tip 9 – Curtain up

Shutting the curtains, especially lined ones, will stop heat escaping through your windows.

Tip 10 – Charging off

It's convenient to leave your mobile phone charger plugged into the wall, but if it is switched on, even without the phone attached, it will be using electricity.

Green Deal

The Green Deal is the new government initiative that is designed to help business and home owners to employ more green technologies in their properties.

The idea is simple; install new green technology into your property with no up front costs. You will pay back the costs through your energy bill over a period of time. This is unlike a conventional loan because if you move out of the property the bill stays with the property where the savings are occurring and not with the bill payer.

This is how it works;

Contact the Thermal Comfort team at Ashfield District Council on 01623 457452 to find out more.

What should I do if I experience a power cut?

Please read this leaflet which explains what to do if you experience a power cut.

How do I register as a priority services customer?

To find out how to becomes a priority services customer please read this leaflet.