Thatcham Good Life


Lifestyle Change - Home

To find out about Global Warming, the various energy options, and what you can do to reduce your energy consumption, visit Blewbury Energy Initiate

To find out about renewable energy visit
National Energy Foundations - Renewable Energy

To find out what you can do at home to reduce your carbon footprint and save money, visit
National Energy Foundations - save carbon

Home Insulation
Loft/ Cavity wall insulation
Improve your home's insulation through additional loft insulation and/ or cavity wall insulation. West Berks Council are currently (Feb 2010) running a Green Homes Scheme whereby you can get a free home survey and you may qualify for a grant for insulation work in your home. Click here for more details.
To find out more about home insulation visit
cocoonyourhome or call Cocoon on 0800 8048 777. Cocoon, is a free service operated by United Sustainable Energy Agency, a not-for-profit organisation.  They refer you to reputable installers who are monitored closely to ensure a high quality, professional service. A member of TGL says “The installation is approved, and part funded, by West Berks Council, and is a really simple, no mess thing to have done.  Our house is much warmer since we had it installed in October.  Highly recommended - no reason why anyone with a cavity wall house doesn't have it done!”

Walls
As well as cavity wall insulation there is also external insulating render for your home. A way  to insulate homes without cavity walls.


Double glazing
Double glaze your home to save losing heat through old drafty windows. Double-glazing will reduce heat loss through your windows by up to 50% with standard glazing. By using specialized products and suppliers this saving can be increased.

Curtains
Close your curtains after dusk! Having your curtains open during the day allows the use of natural light and warmth, keeping them open after dusk will mean a loss of heat from your home. Consider using thermally-lined curtains for the best energy-saving.

Draft excluders
There are a variety of draft excluders available to buy or make. Remember the old sausage dogs and snakes that used to be common place. Stick on foam, rubber strip and brush type excluders can be easily installed to doorways. And why not fit the brush type excluder to the letter box. Disused chimneys should be insulated to stop heat loss and drafts too.

Heating your home
What to consider when replacing your boiler and improving the heating of your home. Further information available here Blewbury Energy Initiative

The Energy Saving Trust have a free home check available to help you on your way to running a more energy efficient home. Free home energy check

Energy Monitoring and Reduction
Energy Monitors
An Energy sensor is simply connected to your incoming electricity tail. A wireless LCD display will show your electricity consumption in real time. You will be amazed how much energy the kettle consumes or the TV uses on standby. You will want to turn everything off in the house to eliminate all energy use and you will certainly learn more about the energy used. To find out more about energy meters visit electricity monitor website Members of TGL are using the Owl energy monitor which you can borrow. Newbury Library also has some available to be borrowed. Read More.

Energy Saving Plugs
SavaPlugs which can be connected to fridges and freezers and save electricity by regulating the power to the machine. For more details visit www.savawatt.com and see the products page to find if your machine is compatible.

Various types of energy saving plugs are available. These simply shut power off to devices when in standby. These range from three way sockets for PC’s and laptops that cut power to peripheral devices when the PC or laptop is powered off to remote controlled standby plugs for other devices such as TVs and HIFI’s
Read More

Batteries
Use rechargeable batteries and a battery charger. This saves energy because the energy needed to manufacture a battery is on average 50 times greater than the energy it gives out. Try opting for appliances that can use solar panels or winding mechanisms for power, e.g. radios, mobile phone wind-up chargers. Send batteries back to manufacturers for recycling or reprocessing when available.

Light bulbs
Use of energy efficient light bulbs has great pay back, saving on co2 emissions and savings to your pocket. Standard Incandescent light bulbs cannot be recycled domestically.

Water meters
Consider using a Showerdrop meter. The ECO Showerdropis a low cost universal shower meter that is designed to let you know how much water you're using and alert you when the recommended amount of water has been dispensed. The savings can be substantial in terms of water and energy, for example, a family of four could save over £180 per year, as well as 40,000 litres of water and 2/3 tonne of CO2.

Water softeners with electronic display can help show you the amount of water you are using if you do not have a water authority meter fitted.

Power showers
What is the true cost of a power shower? Try to avoid water and energy hungry power showers. A power shower can use more water than it takes to fill your bath in less than five minutes.