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Blog Post 29 December 2020

Looking ahead to 2021: energy saving resolutions

Traditionally we start thinking about resolutions as we move into a new year, with many of us eager to wave goodbye to what has been a difficult year. So, we thought of a few energy saving resolutions to take us into 2021.

According to a OnePoll survey of 2,000 people in the US, the most common New Year’s resolutions were to improve overall wellness, save more money and have a more positive outlook. We wondered what these – and other resolutions – might look like if they were applied to energy saving.

Improve overall wellness

The survey, which asked about plans for the new year in light of Covid-19 stress, found that 63% – the highest percentage – want to improve their overall wellness, with 56% adding they want to get in better physical shape.

So, what better way of getting in shape than turning your daily commute, school run or trip to the shops into a walk or a bike ride?

Transport is one of the biggest contributors to carbon emissions, with air pollution proving to be a health hazard in towns and cities across the UK. Walking and cycling are zero emitting and allow you to get fit at the same time.

If you have a longer commute or don’t feel up to cycling all the way – why not look at investing in an ebike. These assisted bikes can travel at up to 15.5mph and allow you to feel confident about taking on longer journeys.

Read our blog about electric bikes or find out more about low emission and clean air zones where you live.

Save money for the future

Right up there with improving wellness is the intention to save money. Saving money for the future was named by 62% of survey respondents indicating that this was one of their top priorities for the coming year. Saving energy and saving money go hand in hand, as your bills come down once you use less energy.

Generating your own renewable energy is one way to reduce your bills.

If you can’t generate your own energy – having a modern, energy efficient boiler will ensure that you’re heating your home efficiently. Over half of the average household’s fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water.

Turning your thermostat down one degree can save the average household £60 a year, as well as 310kg of carbon dioxide. If you install and currently use a programmer, room thermostat and thermostatic radiator valves, these savings could rise to £75 and 320kg, respectively.

Upgrading from an old G rated boiler to a modern A+ rated boiler could save you around £205 a year, depending on the size of your home. We’ve got more details about the potential savings from upgrading your boiler in our guide to boiler replacement.

Look on the bright side

Another popular New Year’s resolution is to have a more positive outlook on life and be kinder to yourself and others. Over half of those polled (58%) said they hoped to have a more positive outlook in 2021, which may reflect on what has been a difficult year. One way to look after ourselves and our families it to ensure our homes are insulated properly, helping to keep them warm during the colder months.

In terms of energy efficiency, we know that there is a clear link between cold, damp homes and ill health. Between 5,000 and 10,000 people a year die as a result of cold homes – more than on the roads in the UK – with thousands more struggling with heart disease, respiratory problems as well as the stress, anxiety and depression caused by living in substandard accommodation.

Fuel poverty is a situation that gets worse in the winter months, when the temperature drops, and householders find themselves struggling to meet basic living expenses like energy bills. If you or someone you know needs help to pay heating bills, there is assistance available where you live.

Read our top tips on keeping your home warm this winter.

Eat more healthily

With 53% looking to create a new good habit in the new year, for many this might be eating more healthily. We can all work on our diets, especially after Christmas, but eating healthily needs to go hand in hand with eating sustainably.

In Scotland, we work in partnership with Zero Waste Scotland to offer Love Food Hate Waste workshops for businesses and organisations, to help people make the most of the food they’ve got in their homes and throw less away.

Two-thirds of the food we throw away could have been used if we’d managed it better. Food waste in landfill emits methane, which is 25% more damaging than carbon dioxide.

Find out more in our blog about how to reduce food waste.

Read more (energy saving advice)

Reading more is another popular New Year’s resolution, with just under half of those surveyed listing it as a goal for 2021. While this might refer to literature rather than advice, remember there’s always plenty to read on our website! We’ve got information and advice about home energy efficiencyrenewable energy and sustainable travel – including active travel and electric vehicles – as well as the latest news and updates on energy efficiency in our blogs and opinion pieces.

Whatever you decide to do in 2021, resolving to use less energy works for you and the planet. That’s got to be a positive resolution.

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Last updated: 15 December 2020