Becoming more self sufficient

My recent terrible experiences with a certain energy company, plus all of the political issues and unrest in those parts of the world that supply much of our oil, have made me think about how to become less reliant on thimagee energy companies for heating and lighting and become more self-sufficient.

We intend to install a woimageod burner in the sitting room. As well as being a lovely feature, they are great for drying off the laundry and reducing the need to put the heating on. People who have them have told me they seem to heat the whole house. I hope it will also help with the humidity so the dehumidifier can be switched on less. So, saving up for that!

We have already insulated the house as much as we can. As soon as we bought it we got a deal with British Gas to have the wall cavities filled and the loft properly insulated for free. Best kind of deal!! However, I could also get some reflective foil to go behind the radiators. The house is double glazed but the glazing is quite old. Replacing it is not an option, though – too expensive. I bought a lined curtain for the front door from Ebay a while back but haven’t got round to fitting it and buying a hinged door rail, so that is another job to do. Most of the curtains are lined. I would like to double line them all eventually but have no time at the moment, so that is a project for the future.

I am also looking at solar panels. Some companies fit them for free, or a very small charge. They get the feed in money from the Government for a few years, and after that period the household starts to benefit. There was only one company that had good feedback on, but unfortunately they don’t cover my area, so I am still searching. I would really appreciate it if anyone has had good experiences of this type of scheme that covers the East of England.

Other than that, I will continue to try to use power carefully, and encourage the family to do the same. I shower all the time rather than have a bath, I never use the tumble dryer, I use my slow cooker as much as possible, I boil only the water I need in the kettle, I put on several layers of clothing rather than put the heating on, I switch lights and appliances off if I’m not in the room, I don’t leave the TVs on standby, I try to cook more than one thing if I have the oven on…

Any ideas for energy saving ideas or self sufficiency?

3 thoughts on “Becoming more self sufficient

  1. Linda Kay

    In Texas we are concerned for water as we have been in a drought for some time. We have had a good deal of rain lately in the Hill Country, but other places are very dry. We are looking at a fairly large catchment system, whereby the water from rain and the gutters that normally run it into the ground are captured in a barrel to use for watering plans, etc. My daughter’s home has a 30000 gallon water system, and they even use that water for drinking, laundry, everything for the house. The well is used for watering the grass. Even using a bucket to catch water in the shower helps to conserve water usage.

  2. cottageretreatist

    I love the idea of a wood burner – it is a top priority for us when we move – to keep costs low! I’m unsure about solar panels – would love to use them but the actual ins and outs of how it works (who pays what and how you recoup your money) confuses me! 🙂

    Definitely agree with turning lights off etc – even more I turn off the sockets even if there’s nothing plugged in!

    Are you doing a comparison for this year saving money versus last year to see how much you’re saving?

    Natalya@Cottage Retreatist

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