Experts from Low Carbon West and North Oxford shared some top tips for saving energy at home, in a Great Big Green Week event at Church House Oxford on Monday 26 September.
Mim Saxl from Low Carbon West Oxford and Jane Grindey from Low Carbon Oxford North joined the Diocese of Oxford Environment team and the Church House staff Green Group for a lunchtime lecture, sharing ideas for energy saving over the coming months.
With energy costs skyrocketing, saving money and fuel is topping everyone's agenda. Mim Saxl explored some low-cost solutions to the energy crisis - ideas which cost very little to implement, if not nothing. Mim's top five tips included insulating hot water tanks and sticking reflective foil behind radiators to ensure heat is reflected out into the room. Houses in England, Scotland and Wales could also, on average, save £55 a year by switching off appliances at the socket, rather than leaving them on standby.
Mim also stressed the importance of being aware of when energy price rises kick in, saying;
"It's really important to read your meter before the price cap rise so you can give your supplier an accurate reading and not be paying more than you should."
Jane Grindey advised on Low Carbon Oxford North's Housewarming programme, which aims to guide homeowners on the best way to retrofit their house to cut energy usage, bills and emissions. The premise is to consider the longer-term gains; for example, investing £20,000 to cut energy bills from £2,000 a year to £1,000 would give homeowners a 5% return each subsequent year. Whilst not an option for everyone, increasing awareness and understanding of the available options means homeowners can feel more confident and educated going forword.
Using a fabric-first approach, the Housewarming programme encourages people to first take stock of where they are already, suggesting tools such as thermal imaging cameras to find heat leaks. They then offer independent advice on how to make key decisions and where to find more in-depth information.
"The most important thing is it gives you as the buyer, when you're talking to contractors, the other half of the conversation... It gives you the opportunity to ask the right questions back and have a more equal dialogue."
Mim and Jane's talks can be watched back on the Diocese of Oxford YouTube channel at any time. Great Big Green Week takes place nationwide from 24 September to 2 October, will events taking place across the diocese. Find out more on our Environment pages and get involved.