The saying ‘waste not want not’ can be very relevant to energy use. Energy is very expensive and if it is a struggle to find the money to buy enough energy to keep warm it is very important to ensure the energy we buy is put to good use and not wasted. Very small changes in behaviour can save 10% of energy. The first thing to do is to ensure that you know how much energy you actually use, the best way to do this is to read your gas and electric meter each week. Then it is important to find out how that energy is being used. Walk around your home and make a note of all the appliances that use energy. Check what is plugged in and switched on are all those things being used. For example mobile phone chargers use energy even if they are not connected to a phone so it makes sense to ensure that they are only switched on when they are actually needed. Make sure the appliances you are using are working efficiently. If you have a refrigerator or freezer make sure it does not have a build- up of ice inside, also make sure that the cooling fins usually found at the rear of the appliance are clean as a build-up of ice inside or dust on the cooling fins will prevent the appliance from operating efficiently.
Just being aware of how much energy we are using and whether we are using it wisely can enable us to save money on our bills or enable us to spend more money to keep ourselves warm. Being energy efficient is not about going without, it is about using energy wisely. So check out how you are using energy and be ‘cool’ not cold!