Going to university is an exciting and important milestone in anyone’s life. It’s an opportunity to grow as a person, make lots of new friends, and work towards your life goals. According to UCAS, a record number of students were accepted into Universities last year. Many students are moving out and living away from their families for the first time. Busy study schedules and social lives mean that saving energy may not be a top priority for many students.
However, students need to be aware of their environmental impact and the importance of reducing harmful carbon emissions. By becoming a more energy efficient student, you will not only help the environment, but it will also save your budget, especially considering the fact that energy prices are increasing year on year. Overall, reducing your energy usage is an excellent way to become more eco-friendly, save money, and reduce your living costs. With this in mind, here are some simple ways to become a more energy efficient student in 2020.
Ask your landlord for an EPC
When you rent a student property, the landlord is required by law to provide a valid Energy Performance Certificate (EPC). According to energy experts at Nexus Energy Solutions – “The EPC gives your home an energy efficiency rating of between A and G, with A being the most energy efficient that is possible and G being very poor.” The EPC also provides recommendations on how to improve energy performance and save money. It is always a good idea to request a copy of the EPC before you rent a property so you can get an idea of what the average fuel costs will be. It will also allow you to choose a property that has been designed to be as environmentally-friendly as possible.
Limit your electricity usage
Finding ways to reduce the amount of electricity you use should significantly reduce your carbon footprint and lower your energy bills. Fortunately, there are many simple ways to minimise your electricity usage. In particular, make sure that you switch off all electronics from the wall when you go out, or when they’re not in use during the day. You should also consider switching to activities that use less or no electricity. For example, try reading a book or playing a board game instead of watching TV and using electronic devices every day. You should also consider switching any traditional incandescent light bulbs with energy efficient versions like LEDs. These use far less energy and could save you £232 per year according to research by comparethemarket.com.
Turn the thermostat down
Heating systems use large amounts of energy and are often the main contributor to a household’s energy bill. In fact, the average annual gas bill was a massive £676 in 2018 according to research by The Money Advice Service. Luckily, there are several easy ways to lower your gas bill – here are a few ideas:
- Put extra layers on during the colder months to help keep warm, instead of automatically turning the thermostat up.
- Make sure that you turn the thermostat down when you go home for the holidays or at the end of the term. However, avoid turning the heating off completely or you risk causing frozen pipes and flooding.
- Speak to your landlord about upgrading to a programmable or smart thermostat that will allow you to manage your home temperature more efficiently.
Reduce water wastage
Reducing your water usage is another simple, yet effective, way to lower your energy bills and become a more energy efficient student. You can help reduce water waste by taking showers instead of baths, saving washing up until you have a full bowl, and turning the tap off while you’re brushing your teeth. You should also ensure that your washing machine and dishwasher are set to the most economical setting to help conserve water. If you notice any leaks in your property, then be sure to bring this to your landlord’s attention straight away to help facilitate swift repairs and minimise water waste.
Become a more energy efficient student today!
University is an incredible time full of exciting new experiences. It is also likely to be your first opportunity to live independently away from your parents. While at university, it’s important to be aware of your environmental impact and adopt lifestyle habits to help reduce harm to our planet. Not only will going green minimise carbon emissions, but it will also reduce your living costs meaning you’ll have money to spend on fun activities!
Thanks to Ella Hendrix for sharing her thoughts with us. If you want to contribute to our website, click here for details.