The UK has a policy to reduce the UK's greenhouse gas emissions by 80% by 2050. That may seem a long way off, but environmental change can take time, so we have to get moving on this target now.
Yes much of the carbon emissions are from industry - planes, factories, cars - but action on all levels is needed, including radically overhauling housing stock and making it far more energy efficient.
But much of becoming energy efficient is common sense, easy to do and popular - and getting more so by the day.
Think about recycling. It wasn't that long ago when 'reduce, reuse and recycle' was hardly ever used. Now we all have blue bins... or green boxes... or other ways in which we recycle a range of things from newspapers to cardboard, bottles to cans. Its so much more part of everyday life.
Have a look at the short films below - they'll tell you more about energy saving at home, ventilation and insulation, keeping warm and energy in the future.
Saving Energy at Home
Ventilation & Insulation
Energy In The Future
There are global and national targets to reduce carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, plus three key targets for reducing energy consumption by 2020 which are:
- A 20% reduction in EU greenhouse gas emissions from 1990 levels;
- Raising the share of EU energy consumption produced from renewable resources to 20%;
- A 20% improvement in the EU's energy efficiency.
The big payback for people who make their homes more energy efficient is the savings that can be made on what seem like ever increasing household bills. And the best financial returns can be on insulating homes through loft and wall insulation or upgrading to a more energy sufficient boiler. That's where the Government's Green Deal and the Energy Company Obligation or 'ECO' come in to offer loans and grants to help install these otherwise expensive measures.
The Green Deal works through assessing a home's current energy rating and recommending improvements to make that home more energy efficient. It's individual to each household, and there's an up front cost for the assessment, though this is often refunded when work is done. You may then be able to get a Green Deal loan, which is paid off through your energy bills, which will be less once the improvements are installed. And there's a promise that the total amount you pay won't be any higher than you paid before.
As well as the Government grants and loans, you may be able to get help to pay for improvements from your landlord, especially if they are a local housing provider or Local Authority, so why not ask them what they can do to help.
You can find out more about the Green Deal, ECO and eligibility for these schemes here, or visit the Energy Saving Trust for more information.
Alternatively, call our Save Energy Advice Line on 0800 043 0151 and we'll talk you through it.
Our Top Tips section has our best suggestions for quick and easy ways to make your home more energy efficient, and save cash in the bargain.
Or go to our useful links page for more organisations who make energy efficiency, carbon savings and climate change their business.