Fracking – the process of extracting shale gas through drilling into the earth – has created serious controversy in the north of England recently, with protests against the method resulting in the arrest of a local MP. The process can cause minor earthquakes, carcinogenic chemical pollution to water supplies and many believe it simply discourages energy companies from investing in renewable energy sources by reemphasising a reliance on fossil fuels.
Anybody with concerns about the environment will be troubled by the increasing use of fracking, especially following the tremors the process caused in Blackpool in 2011. Here are a few ways you can reduce your own energy bills, proving that fracking isn’t the only option for those who want to lower prices.
90% of the energy used when you wash a load of laundry goes towards heating the water. Turning your washing machine to a cooler setting (let’s say 30°) will reduce your bills by saving energy. Ensuring you wash the maximum amount of clothing possible in a single load will also reduce bills, as you’ll be washing less frequently. If you urgently need a dirty shirt for the next day, simply hand-washing it rather than putting half a load in the washing machine will save energy.
Heating is one of the primary concerns for people who worry about their rising energy bills, but a few simple steps can ease your burden. In the colder months, keeping the heating on a low setting for most of the day will actually be cheaper than having it turned off. Keeping it turned off all day and cranking it up for a few hours when things get chilly on a night can actually cost you more money, so it’s something to bear in mind. Having your loft re-insulated by a professional company like Mark Group has a hefty initial cost, but it’s something that will save you £1000s in the long run as you won’t need to use the heating as much.
Unplugging anything you don’t use regularly and never leaving things on standby are obvious ways to reduce your energy bills. If you’re glued to your computer however, using a search engine like Blackle can reduce your energy bills through a lower wattage black display. It’s not been confirmed how much you can save, but check out the statistics for its energy saving potential.