Ethical Energy Saving Devices Saving energy at home through the use of energy-saving devices doesn’t always require a grand gesture such as solar panels on the roof – the small changes are every bit as worthwhile. Energy Saving Trust Energy Saving Trust is a great resource for finding energy-efficient appliances. Part of the organisation’s goal is to provide information that allows consumers to make more sustainable choices when choosing household appliances. The Energy Saving Trust Register is an online database where you can find their recommended eco-friendly products, which includes anything from kitchen appliances to radiators. For example, Kettles are one of the most used appliances in the kitchen and an energy-saving kettle can save as much as 30% of the energy used by a standard kettle. The Energy Saving Trust say that if every household in the UK used an Energy Saving Recommended kettle, we would save around £170 million of energy a year – enough electricity to power 330,000 homes for a year. See https://energysavingtrust.org.uk/listing/est-register/ for a list of their recommended products. Energy Efficiency Ratings Energy labels are a good way of identifying which electrical products are the most energy-efficient. Energy labels give appliances a rating from A (best) to G (worst) and are often displayed on websites and products so you can see the rating before you purchase. Opting for A-rated products not only reduces your carbon footprint, but also saves you money on your energy bill! Low-energy light bulbs Energy-saving bulbs come in many different shapes and wattages and will replace a bulb of up to 175 watts. CFL and LED bulbs are far more efficient than traditional tungsten bulbs. Although on the surface it seems more expensive to opt for an energy-saving bulb, you will be saving yourself a lot of money in the long run. For instance, a CFL bulb is estimated to last approximately 12 years, using roughly £30 worth of energy. In contrast, for the same amount of time, you would need to buy 15 traditional light bulbs and spend around £150 on electricity. To help the planet whilst also saving yourself money, choose an LED or CFL bulb, rather than a tungsten bulb. Light bulbs must now show their Energy Label rating, so try and pick one with an A-rating. Electrical Appliances The small electrical appliances in your home can use up a surprisingly large amount of energy. There are now a number of intelligent energy-saving appliances available which will improve energy efficiency in your home and save you money! Battery chargers Add up the number of torches, personal stereos, digital cameras and other gadgets we keep around the home, and most of us would be surprised at how many of them require batteries. Buying rechargeables instead of standard disposable batteries is a really easy way to reduce the amount of electrical waste we contribute to landfill sites and saves a lot of energy in the long term. In the UK, around 40,000 tonnes of portable batteries were sold in 2020, with only around 18,000 tonnes being recycled. Most battery chargers will accept nickel-cadmium (NiCad) and nickel-metal hydride (NiMh) rechargeable batteries, reaching full charge in three to five hours on any AA, AAA or PP3 battery – less time than it takes to remember to go to the shops and buy some more! These batteries can on average be recharged up to 1,000 times, which means that they have a good lifespan and will save the owner a significant amount of money compared to disposables. It is also possible to find a battery charger that relies on solar power, which would save even more energy. Solar Garden Lights Solar lights enhance a garden in an easy-to-use, eco-friendly way. They produce a visually pleasing solar light that will last all night long. The units can be mounted around a driveway, decking or patio, and each one is completely self-contained, including a solar panel and LED light. Solar garden lights require no wiring as they charge during the daytime from the sun’s rays, which makes them water-resistant and easy to install. However, they do require a sunny position, although some models will still gain some charge on an overcast day. Solar lights generally come on automatically at dusk, but some have a manual override switch. They do not provide bright surrounding light but are ideal for marking pathways and garden features with a gentle glowing light.