watervole: (Default)
 Anyone looking for sensible, affordable and effective LED lighting should try these.www.lightingever.co.uk/flush-ceiling-lights

I'd been looking for an LED option that didn't require a false ceiling or making holes in my existing ceiling and this did the trick perfectly.

We got   a couple for the lounge.  Richard fitted them (they're not that easy to fix, some people will be happy with DIY, some will want an electrician)



We liked the lounge ones enormously.  Really bright light, with good colour balance.  We no longer need to use an extra lamp when gaming or knitting.

So, we bought a slightly smaller pair for the hall and landing.   It won't be long before we do the bedrooms as well. They suddenly look really dingy when coming from a well-lit landing.

We got one for my mother-in-law to replace her ancient lounge light.  She was delighted.  Much brighter (which was her main aim), but also a lot less electricity).

Our cleaning lady liked ours so much that she promptly got several as well!

Inside, they look a bit like a printed circuit board.  There's no glass involved at all.
watervole: (Default)
 A couple of months ago I talked about carbon footprints and had some really thoughtful responses from people.

The calculator I used was rightly criticised, it wasn't a particularly good one.

I'm now using this one  I went for the detailed version which asks for things like exact electricity consumption.

I came out as 1.8 planets compared to a UK average of 3 planets (you get a share of government CO2, which is fair enough, so even if you lived in a tent you couldn't get zero)

I'm pretty happy with 1.8.  There's a few things I can improve - we've recently installed LED lights and that won't have shown up in the electricity consumption yet, but there are also things I can't do much about.

(The only drawback with this particular calculator is that it's tips ignore some of what you've said about yourself. )

Although the calculator does not ask about children, I feel that  people who do not have children at all are clearly benefiting the world in the long term.  In my personal view, having more than 2 children is incredibly selfish in an over-populated world.

If you've got time, tackle the calculator and in weeks to come I'll try and talk about ways of improving your score.

The simplest tip of all is to go for renewable electricity.  The cost is about the same (in the UK at least) and the effort involved in changing supplier is minimal.  My personal recommendation is Ecotricity.  Their prices are good, they have excellent customer service, and they invest their profit in creating more renewable energy (which is not something guaranteed with the renewable tariff of the big energy companies).  They're an ethical supplier and the same tariff for all their customers, so you don't lose out if you've been with them a long time, or if you're on a prepayment meter.


watervole: (Default)
 A friend changed energy supplier recently, which she reckons will save around £600 a year.

Our energy bill (including both gas and electric) last year was under £600...

Admittedly, we're in the south and she's in Yorkshire, which will make a difference to the heating costs, and we're a mid-terrace which also helps.

However, if anyone wants Judith's tips on saving energy costs, here's a few:

1.  Never do laundry unless necessary.  Wash clothes when they either look dirty, or a quick sniff says they need a wash even if they don't look dirty.  I was horrified by one friend (who was flat broke) who washed her son's trousers every single day.  I find that trousers are often good for a fortnight or more.

2.  Check your loft insulation.  Most people erroneously think they have enough - they're usually nowhere near.  The recommended depth is 10 inches or 25 cm.
Even we probably don't have that much, but the frost melts last on our roof, so we certainly have more insulation than the rest of the street.  If you run out of space between the floor rafters, you can still add it between the rafters under your tiles (which is what we did).  It's easy and cheap and makes the whole house warmer.

3.  Showers cost money.  There's a perception that showers are cheap, but most people spend so long in the shower that it still works out expensive.  Washing just the essential bits with a flannel (or sponge) and a bowl of water will cost a lot less.  (I love my bidet)  If you have clothing due to go in the laundry, use that to wipe under the arm-pits - that often removes the need for a wash.

Basically, heating anything is expensive.

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Judith Proctor

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