Marking Earth Hour 2019, we want everyone to adopt at least one energy-saving habit in their home.
Earth Hour, the world's largest grassroots movement for the environment, takes place this Saturday, 30 March between 8:30pm and 9:30pm. All over the world millions of people, businesses and landmarks will switch off their lights in solidarity with global climate action efforts.
Anything that prompts a more constructive conversation around climate action is to be commended, and we encourage people to get involved. But we need the enthusiasm and momentum of Earth Hour to persist long after the hour has passed. It’s a great opportunity for each of us to consider our individual energy use and what we can do in our daily lives to reduce our own carbon footprint. We know that people can sometimes feel powerless when it comes to climate action. But we believe that small changes, taken collectively, can have a big impact.
We have some simple changes each of us can make to help reduce our everyday energy use, reduce our collective carbon footprint and ultimately help combat climate change.
- Turn the temperature down: If you do need to use your heating over the next few weeks, lowering your thermostat by just 1oC could knock as much as 10% off your heating bill. 20oC is an ideal temperature for the living areas in a home. Hallways and bedrooms should be cooler, ideally between 15°C and 18°C. Remember, turning up the thermostat will not heat your home up any quicker! Use the heating timer to control your homes central heating.
- Reduce your shower time: Showers are one of the biggest energy users in the home. By reducing your shower time, you could save a lot of energy and water.
- Make laundry ‘cool’: Most of the energy used by a washing machine is for water heating. Wash clothes at 30°C if they aren’t particularly dirty and only run the washing machine when you have a full load. Tumble dryers are also big energy users so dry clothes on a clothes horse or clothes line, particularly in the summer months.
- Don’t overfill the kettle: Only boil the amount of water you need but make sure to cover the element. Reducing the amount of extra water boiled by just four cups a day could knock up to €5 off your bill.
- Lighten up: Switch your light bulbs to LED lights. They last significantly longer than traditional light bulbs and use only a small fraction of the energy.
- Walk, cycle and use public transport where possible: Ditching the car, especially for shorter journeys, can help reduce your carbon footprint. Walking and cycling has added benefit of keeping you fit and healthy.
- Prepare for next winter! 80% of energy used in Ireland’s homes is for space-heating and hot water. With the warmer days approaching we will all be switching off the heating making now the ideal time to prepare for next winter. Get your boiler serviced. Servicing your boiler ensures it is running efficiently, reducing energy use, and is very important for safety. Spring is also a good time to consider any upgrade works with the better weather. Improving insulation and adopting renewable energy alternatives will reduce energy bills. SEAI offers a range of grants to help you do this.