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 the energy companies for heating and lighting and become more self-sufficient.
We intend to install a wood 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 MoneySavingExpert.com, 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?