Cost of Living Energy Saving Tips For Students written by Daniel Bridges and edited by Heather Sykes
On the evening of Tuesday 24th of January, I had the pleasure of interviewing a retired local engineer, Paul Brohan. Paul, being an engineer by trade, understands the energy crisis we face better than most. A key member of Transition Worcester’s Energy group, helps families in Worcester conserve energy, using DIY solutions.
Paul told me that when he was young, it was the real start of modern energy. With central heating systems and nationwide energy supplies, people were saying that we’d have usable energy for the next 50 years. The steps energy at that time had taken were progressive and exciting.
Though Paul told me he began to realise years after this energy boom, in his job as an engineer, how there was an energy problem. He saw the inefficiency of such things as how heat escaped from windows, causing more energy to be used and energy bills to dramatically increase. In the cost-of-living crisis, with energy prices so high, Paul’s words have never been so important, especially to students.
Paul’s Top Energy-Saving Tips
1. He told me that the most important and simple thing is to wear warm clothing. Too many still people wear summer-type clothing in which they turn up the heating instead of wearing warmer clothes.
2. To look for energy-efficient accommodation. Paul says most of the landlords he’s spoken to in Worcester want to help, but it is still important to find energy-friendly accommodation.
3. To educate yourself. Paul says there is nothing as important as educating yourself to learn what you can do to help change the energy crisis situation. Every little helps. He recommends the website ‘Energy Saving Trust’ and the book ‘Sustainable Energy without the hot air’ by David Mackay.
How To Achieve a Cheaper More Sustainable Energy Plan
Energy-saving measures for students have never been so important as they are now, as energy prices have skyrocketed.
“People need to change their mindset a lot.” – Paul Brohan
Paul talked about many cost-saving measures. As can be seen in Picture 1, so much heat escapes the room and this leads to more heat being produced by your central heating system, leading to higher energy bills. He proposed several easy DIY fixes.
Firstly, to stop draughts, he recommends putting a fan outside your door, when the heating is on. This allows you to feel the breeze of the fan, which represents the draught. This shows you how inefficient your house is at preserving energy. It allows you to find the places, the heat is escaping from and fix it. Door Brushes, as shown in Picture 2 can stop the draught from coming in under your door.
Considering, that 15% of your house’s energy leaves through the door, this is a useful tip. I was also greatly surprised at the other places the draughts came from, from places such as skirting boards. These can be fixed with filler brought from any local hardware store.
Other Benefits of Insulating your House with Energy-Saving Tips
An important point that Paul mentioned, was that stopping draughts it is a good, cheap way of saving energy provided you are taking steps to avoid condensation. By making sure the kitchen and bathroom fans are keeping excess moisture down in your indoor air you will stop condensation. Condensation can lead to further problems in your accommodation, such as mildew. This can lead to the decay of parts of your house, causing the wood to rot. It can lead to dampness and structural issues. Condensation can also affect the air, which means it is harmful to those with respiratory issues.
Paul puts great importance on educating the masses on the impact of energy. He believes the biggest impact will come from lifestyle changes of the everyday human being. Only then can meaningful progress be made to save our environment and reduce our energy use.
Lastly, I asked Paul about the future. He told me Solar Energy was indeed the future, and that we, as human beings, must come together. He believes that friendship across the world will solve the energy crisis when we all listen to and help one another. A future we can all aspire to.
Download this short student energy-saving tips booklet