How to stay eco-friendly in the summer

Wednesday 04-07-2018 - 16:25

Blog by Sandhiya, student at the University of York

Another university year is over and summer has just begun! This means it’s time for a cheeky barbee, ice creams and whipping out those shades! However, with all this time to relax and embracing the transition from winter to summer, we cannot forget to remain energy efficient!

As the warmer months arrive it’s time to make those smaller changes to appreciate the new weather. This is an obvious one but turning your heating off or putting it on a timer should result in lower household bills as you won’t be using heating as often as you did in the winter months (subject to usage/people/energy rating). 

If you do find yourself feeling a little cold, instead of turning on the heating why not throw on that big cosy jumper of yours hiding in the depths of your wardrobe? By simply putting on extra layers, you can easily minimise costs and be energy efficient.

Now with daylight savings time, it means it’s brighter for longer! Make use of this...go outside, open those window to allow the cool breeze in rather than plugging in an electrical fan. Open doors too and if you’re feeling creative why not make your own fan? You could use recycled paper and make it as colourful as you want and show off ☺. This is a fun way to allow your home to preserve energy and not be wasteful.

In addition to keeping the house eco-friendly when it’s empty, as all your flatmates have gone home for the summer or if you're going on holiday, make sure all the appliances/electricity/heating are completely switched off and not on standby. You will be surprised by how low your bills are. 

Based on my experience as a student living in private accommodation, when thinking of moving into a new house it's important to know when your energy provider will start charging you. In York, most private lettings are 52 weeks. Many individuals forget whilst they're back home for the summer they're still paying rent and bills for accommodation they're not living in. Make use of this! When I first moved into my new house I feel I wasted 3 months of not using my house and exploring the city. If you are worried about bills this won’t make much of a difference as they charge you based on usage, however, it is your responsibility to ensure everything is turned off! Not only this but make sure you keep records of meter readings as you can give this to your provider if you suspect you have been overcharged, which is exactly what happened to me!

Our provider, ScottishPower has overcharged us on one of our bills. Speaking to ScottishPower was an exhausting process but don’t be disheartened - they did reduce our bill and provide great customer service to ensure it won’t happen again. Therefore, from this experience the most important tip I can share is: make a note of everything related to bills. Whether its meter readings or names of consultants you have spoken to on the phone, as this may be beneficial in the future should anything goes wrong!  
Sandy x

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