The Great 'Energy & MoneySaving' Hunt



  • A_fiend_for_life
    A_fiend_for_life Forumite Posts: 1,643 Forumite
    The Carbon Trust offer energy saving/cost cutting advice for businesses. They use independant analysers who visit your business, do an energy usage survey and a report of recommendations to improve your efficiency. I manage a large hotel and they presented their findings to me today, and were very informative with some fantastic recommendations to cut our energy usage and therego our costs, they even gave some fantastic practical advice that can be used in the home.

    Their website is:

    Hope this helps!!![/quote]

    Thanks for your reply. Just on the off chance. Did they give any tips on any kind of fluorescent tubes? OP was saying s/he was changing tubes on a regular basis because of the PIR system in use. I would have thought you would get some that have a longer switching standard for PIR detectors. Some energy saving bulbs CFLs withstand a higher rate of switching so you would expect fluorescent tubes to have a similar standard.
  • lemontart
    lemontart Forumite Posts: 6,037
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    redglass wrote: »
    Here's an old-style suggestion: wear more clothes! It sounds like a sublime glimpse of the bleedin' obvious, but when my heating was out of order recently, adding a layer made all the difference. After a while i hardly noticed. I was even a bit more alert because the house wasn't so stifling. It really made me think about how hot we expect our houses to be nowadays - we want to dress like summer all year long. Another good thing is that doing this doesn't require you to invest anything in special equipment - just put your vest on! Mum was right! ;)

    I rarely put heating on, I always add layers or put a blanket over my legs and a hot water bottle if needed.
    I am responsible me, myself and I alone I am not the keeper others thoughts and words.
  • lemontart
    lemontart Forumite Posts: 6,037
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    themiller wrote: »
    Woodburning stoves are more environmentally friendly than other forms of heating as the fuel is a renewable resource unlike gas or coal. This means that you can grow fuel on trees (as long as the trees are replaced as they are used) - so don't get stressed out by burning wood but keep an inner glow!

    If you have one of these or even a garden wood burner you can use all the junk mail we get to make logs using a briquette maker or all the shredded paper from the shredder by wetting it - and squeezing as much water out as possible with your hands and stuffing the cardboard tubes from loo rolls, foil and kitchen rolls or carboard packaging with it, takes a while to dry out before you can use them, but basically free,
    I am responsible me, myself and I alone I am not the keeper others thoughts and words.
  • buteman
    buteman Forumite Posts: 32
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    Hi Just like to tell everyone about an experiment I tried lately. I was wondering what difference it would make to my petrol consumption if I left off my radio while I was driving. As I listen to it at work every day any way.

    I always have to fill up my car, every 2 weeks practically to the day. So after filling it up I tried leaving off the radio and the first time I tried it, I actually didn't fill up for 3 weeks! I did not drive any differently and did all the ususal trips to school and work.

    Noone thought this could be right, so I did it again and went another 3 weeks before having to fill it up. I even had to make a couple of extra trips. My dad thought that it should run on the battery, not the petrol so I don't know why, but it is lasting longer. So I will keep it up. It just might be my car which is a micra, but anything that saves a little will help.

    Why not try in another type of car and see if it works?:j

    I mean you no offence by this because I know it does save some petrol but I wonder if you really did just not use your radio. Could it be that you concentrated more on your driving technique and this contributed to the savings?

    The reason I ask is this:
    A small car might have an engine which is rated at say 30 horsepower. 1 horsepower is about 746 watts so 30 is 22380 watts. If you have a 60 watt output radio and run it at full power then, because it has an efficiency of around say 60%, it uses about 100 watts.
    So if you turn it off it saves 100 watts.
    This is 100*100/22380 which is 0.446% so you would save enough petrol to top up a few minutes later each week.
  • A_fiend_for_life
    A_fiend_for_life Forumite Posts: 1,643 Forumite
    lemontart wrote: »
    I rarely put heating on, I always add layers or put a blanket over my legs and a hot water bottle if needed.

    The warm weather is great though last couple of weeks I've been keeping an eye on how much I am using. GCH has been switched off so zero and leckie is only 53 units so about £6 for 16 days I've been checking. Keeping cooking to a minimum and washing on 30C or 'cold' on low spin helps too. Next quarterly bill is due next week so I wonder if I'll get investigated for suspiciously low usage come the September bill.
  • nona85
    nona85 Forumite Posts: 25 Forumite
    cwp500 wrote: »
    Tampons are quick, convenient and have a long history of successful use by millions of women. Despite the claims, most women wont have time to boil pans of water or carry Milton fluid in their handbags.

    The mooncup surely has limited appeal but best wishes to anyone who has found it useful.

    I think the main thing to remember with the mooncup is that if it works for you (and it CAN be easy, some people make it sounds so difficult!) then you will save a lot of money over your lifetime of using sanitary products, and just as important, you will not be filling up the sea or landfill with used tampons and towels.

    I know what I would rather do.

    To anyone considering the mooncup, do your own research and don't be put off by other peoples experience of it, or their personal opinion. It does not hurt to try something and use your own judgement.


    Besides the mooncup, I save money and energy by just putting on extra clothing in winter, or getting cosy with a nice blanket. A jumper is the better, cheaper and greener option to having the house like a sauna in winter!

    I've also been turning off appliances at the wall all my life, it's going to sound totally insane but I am actually aware of electrical appliances omitting a faint buzz/hiss noise when they are still switched on at the wall and it bothers me when I'm trying to sleep! I grew up in a very remote part of the country where at night there was no background noise or sub-level noises from traffic/communal living, I think that's why I'm hyper sensitive to electricity! :rolleyes: :rotfl:
  • pmorrisjones
    pmorrisjones Forumite Posts: 125 Forumite
    I used to be able to hear buzzing too. Could tell when my sister was in as tv was on (over a garden wall and through a window!). Alas my hearing is less acute than then, but can tell when I've left my mobile on in my pocket (feeling not sound). Yes I am a normal person but I think some people have more acute senses than others. My other senses (like common sense) are prob. not so good!
  • DawnCBUk
    DawnCBUk Forumite Posts: 27
    Part of the Furniture Combo Breaker
    cwp500 wrote: »
    Tampons are quick, convenient and have a long history of successful use by millions of women. (sic)
    The mooncup surely has limited appeal but best wishes to anyone who has found it useful.

    *warning girl stuff*
    I've been using the mooncup for almost a year now and have found it really amazing. It's much easier to use (and cheaper) than tampons and the fact I am not flushing cotton/plastic/paper into the water system really makes a difference to me. I spoke to a plumber once and he said that tampons are the single biggest causes of blocked drains and sewage systems. I recommend them to all my friends and haven't had ANY issues with hygene or TSS. It's logical to empty the mooncup every 4-8 hours and keep yourself clean. It's great if you swim or scuba dive or horseback ride. (any rigourous sport) and I don't go through pants due to "accidents" like before as it's a perfect fit. I suggest doing your own research and trying them out. Unless you have serious OCD issues you don't need to boil it. A bit of antibac soap does a perfect job!
  • bloomsberg78
    bloomsberg78 Forumite Posts: 63 Forumite
    I have got one of those energy monitoring devices that you plug into the wall and then you plug an appliance into the energy monitor and you can see exactly how much electric you're using. They're a really useful tool in understanding your usage.

    Since watching the electric (both checking the meter and the using the energy monitor) I have found a couple of what appear to be pointless switches (i.e they don't visibly do anything) but are draining eletric. I found this by turning litterly everything off in the house, but noticed the meter was still turning! - eventually I tried flicking these switches the other way and the meter stopped. So that is something worth checking out for.

    One specific question I have is that my fridge/freezer is using 1/3 of all my electric in the summer months and have looked for the various tips on trying to reduce this, but need to advice on reducing this.
    So far I have found the following tips:
    Cleaning the coils at the back or underneath
    Only opening the door very breifly
    Make sure it's not close to a boiler or any other device that emits warmth
    Keeping the Fridge/Freezer full (even jugs of water apparantly work)
    Keeping the thermostat down to as low as possible.

    I have tried transferring/rotating Ice packs from freezer into fridge - I haven't noticed any significant change in energy usage but I have noticed that my stuff is a lot colder (and the thermostat is at the lowest level)

    Any comments? or thoughts on reducing energy usage of a fridge/freezer?
  • Spring_Onion_2
    Spring_Onion_2 Forumite Posts: 1 Newbie
    Hi newbie here, thanks for all the useful tips!

    Can anyone explain to me in practice how you go about mixing your diesel with veg oil? I'd be happy to give it a go. Apparently diesel cars were originally designed to work on any kind of oil.

    I'll have to try switching off the A/C and radio, never thought of that before. Driving more slowly can definitely save money but it is also the manner of driving i.e. more cruising gradually to a halt, less sudden braking and accelerating.

    Like many people I have got used to having a shower pretty much every day, but I'm now cutting down to every other day, with the cost of gas and everything.

    Interesting Qs about the fridge freezer in previous post, I didn't know it used such a large chunk of household electricity. I have heard it's good to fill up the freezer, I sometimes use tupperwares full of water to fill gaps. I suppose it would be cheaper to run it at a warmer temperature, but you might end up throwing out spoiled food which would be counterproductive.
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