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How to help the environment and save money

In 2018, the output of British power stations fell to its lowest levels for a quarter of a century, cutting electricity output by 1%. This, according to analysts, is a sign of increasingly efficient use of energy and the country’s changing economy. Despite there being 8 million more people living in the UK, there was a huge reduction in power.

There is still a long way to go. The average global temperature is 1 degree Celsius higher than it was in pre-industrial times and climate change could "halt and reverse" progress made in human health over the last century. This analysis coming from one of the authors of a new report in the New England Journal of Medicine.

With global warming causing huge health effects across humans as well as animals, how do we continue to reduce our energy spend and help the environment?

How to reduce your energy spend

One of the strongest ways to help the environment is to become more energy efficient both in business and at home. Here are a few simple tips to reduce your energy spend:

  • Install a smart thermostat: Take control of your heating bills by installing a smart thermostat.
  • Turn off standby appliances: Save an average of £30 a year by turning appliances off at the plug.
  • Use efficient appliances: Always go for appliances with a high energy efficiency rating.
  • Invest in double glazing: This insulates your home or business from the cold, to help reduce your heating bills.
  • Install biomass boilers: More and more businesses are converting their heating systems to biomass, due to the financial advantages offered by Renewable Heat Incentive payments.

By putting these energy efficiency measures in place at your business, not only will you see a difference in your energy bills but you'll also be helping make a difference to the environment. For more tips, read our energy efficiency guide for small businesses.

What using less electricity means for the environment

We all know that using less energy is better for the environment, but what are the exact reasons why?

Although electricity is a relatively safe form of energy, the generation and transmission of energy affects the environment. Simply put, fossil fuels = air pollution. The generation of electricity causes climate change, acid rain, and air toxins. The air toxins that electricity generation produces has the following impacts:

  • Carbon dioxide (CO2) is a greenhouse gas which contributes to the greenhouse effect (the trapping of the sun’s warmth in the lower atmosphere).
  • Sulfur dioxide (SO2) causes acid rain, which is harmful to plants and to animals that live in water. SO2 also worsens respiratory illnesses and heart diseases, particularly in children and the elderly.
  • Nitrogen Oxides (NOx) add to ground-level ozone pollution, which irritates and damages the lungs.
  • Particular matter (PM) results in hazy conditions in cities and scenic areas. As well as ground-level ozone pollution, it contributes to asthma and chronic bronchitis. Very small, or fine PM, is also believed to cause emphysema and lung cancer.

Climate change is already hurting human health, according to a new health review. According to one of the authors, Kristie Ebi, "the science is clear" that for each unit increase in global warming, there is an increase in those broad health risks. So, it's important to reduce energy spend where we can and turn to cleaner energy sources.

A supplier from our panel, Squeaky Clean Energy, offers affordable, clean energy. For more information, call us on 0800 970 0077 and we'll find you a great contract.