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Impact of COVID-19 and household energy bills revealed (Includes interview)

In essence states SaveMoneyCutCarbon CEO, Mark Sait, the lockdown has led to, on average, household energy bills increasing to new heights. Sait has been studying the impact upon the U.K. specifically, although many of the findings are equivalent to other nations. SaveMoneyCutCarbon is a business that aims to deliver everything a typical household or business needs to save money and cut carbon. This takes the form of presenting money-saving energy and water efficiency solutions.

Mark Sait says: “Many of us had been focusing on the state of the planet and the resulting long-term impact until COVID19 struck. Rightly, this has taken over the headlines with huge shorter-term impact on our lives at every level…This is compounded by the worry of reduced work opportunities and falling family incomes.” However, we still need to be mindful of environmental issues.

One impact on household incomes is energy use, as Sait notes: “With everyone at home during the working week and weekends, they will be using lots more energy; the television and games consoles are on for the kids (and the grownups), the heating is on during the day, we’re making lots of cups of tea, normally drunk in the workplace and obviously the lights are on longer as we slave over our laptops trying to adjust to remote working and remote relationships.” Each of these factors leads to greater energy demand

To address both concerns – environment and cost – Sait presents some quick wins “to help us reduce our energy usage while we are all staying at home.” These tips are:

Only fill the kettle by the amount of water you need for that cuppa – overfilling means you need more energy to heat more water, that you never use. Use the cup you are going to drink from as a quick measure to fill the kettle.

Make sure those TV’s and other devices are not left on standby, as leaving items on standby is still using energy even when not in use.

The answer to one of the biggest savings has been above your head all along. Many households are still using traditional incandescent, old compact fluorescent or inefficient halogen, which consume a lot of unnecessary energy. Lght-emitting diode (LED) bulbs, however, use up to 80 percent less energy and have a far longer lifespan and if you buy the right ones, and they also provide a better quality of light, much needed if you are working from home, and in some cases, they have smart features.

Of these measures, Sait sees lighting as the optimal cost-cutting measure: “As well as reducing your carbon footprint by switching to LED bulbs, you’ll also see a massive reduction in your energy bills.” An LED is a semiconductor light source that emits light when current flows through it. Electrons in the semiconductor recombine with electron holes, releasing energy in the form of photons. By harnessing this, lower cost energy can be produced.

Written By

Dr. Tim Sandle is Digital Journal's Editor-at-Large for science news. Tim specializes in science, technology, environmental, and health journalism. He is additionally a practising microbiologist; and an author. He is also interested in history, politics and current affairs.

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