Our homes use lots of energy for heating, water heating, cooking and electricity. All energy use in houses is divided between these categories, but the proportions vary depending on the age of the property, for example space heating in a Victorian House may account for up to 60 per cent of all the energy consumed, whilst in a more modern house it may be only 30 per cent. Older houses tend to emit on average in the region of 8 tonnes of CO2 per year, whereas more modern properties can get down to half that.
There are lots of ways to reduce energy consumption, but most of them divide up into energy efficiency measures and lifestyle choices. Lifestyle choices are of course free, in fact they may even save you lots of money! One way of highlighting the areas of energy use that could be improved in your home is getting an Energy Performance Certificate done, a bit like a personal carbon footprint, except it focuses purely on your house.
Various energy efficiency measures involve insulating your house in different ways; this could be cavity wall insulation, solid wall insulation or thoroughly insulating the loft to a depth of 300mm. In the long run all energy saving measures will save you money, but the payback time can vary greatly. An energy saving compact fluorescent light bulb can save you up to £9 a year, whilst a hot water cylinder jacket or cavity wall insulation may take longer.