Just as winter sets in and energy prices soar, we are again being encouraged to work from home to help stop the spread of the latest coronavirus variant, which of course will mean higher energy bills and more carbon emissions. Whilst working from home might help to reduce emissions from traffic and save a bit of money on fuel those savings are likely to be far outweighed by the increases that come from heating our homes.
Of course, many of us spend our days at home regardless of Covid-19, whether looking after children, retired or those already full or part-time home-based worker, and we face the dilemma of saving energy costs all year round, as well as carrying for our environment.
Energy prices at some point may settle back to more normal levels, although that is by no means certain, but one thing is for sure our climate will not return to normal if we continue at the current level of emissions, let alone increase them through lifestyle driven reasons.
Now must be the time to look at how we can save on the energy we use, in order to allow us the flexibility to live and work comfortably at home without worrying about the financial and carbon cost of doing so. Whilst some energy saving measures may need a significant upfront financial investment many will quickly pay for themselves by way of lower energy bills, and given the current low interest rates on savings accounts, this may be one of the best long-term investments we can make.
To help reduce carbon emissions, without making a large investment, the simple step of changing to a green energy provider comes top of the list, but given the current turmoil in the energy market, switching between suppliers or even tariffs is not a simple matter and may be costly in itself, but it is something to prioritise as soon as it becomes a viable financial option.
There are however many steps that can be taken now to save on energy costs and the Energy Savings Trust is a reliable source of information and advice to find out what they are and how they can help save money and reduce carbon emissions in all areas of energy use. Whilst some need that upfront investment others can be carried out at minimal cost.
To help navigate through the many ways to reduce energy costs, whilst helping to tackle climate change the Harrogate District Climate Change Coalition and Zero Carbon Harrogate have joined forces to compile some helpful energy saving tips for households, by combining information available from the Energy Savings Trust and other reliable sources.
To find out more visit: www.zerocarbonharrogate.org.uk/energysaving