First Real Changes

Signed up with Good Energy. Their system is very clear, although the comparisons with the present are more complicated. Their rate is going to be 8.73p for kWh for daytime usage. The compares with our current Powergen rates of 7.96, but with the first 200 units at 10.18. However this is based on a day/night rate which probably is going to be worth changing to day only, since we won’t be using much electricity at night now. That will take the Good Energy rate to 7.85. I don’t have the comparable rate for Powergen. Anyway it looks as though we are paying something like a 10% premium to be green.

But the carbon payoff if huge. Using the same carbon calculator, our emissions go from 9,192 kg to 766 a month. In fact reading the small print, I don’t even see why it hasn’t moved to zero. More importantly and more philosophically I can’t see that this means we can simply go on using the same amount of electricity, just because it is coming from their 100% renewable sources. We should try and reduce this anyway and are making a start in a number of small ways on this and on oil.

Turning off radiators and lights in rooms we are not using is one immediate change. It had just seemed natural to have the house as a whole lit up as we moved from room to room. Then John, the builder who has helped us re-build Hedgerley over the years, came round to decide which windows can take double glazing. Luckily most of them can, although a few will need to be replaced.

Then we came across an ad for low energy bulbs, which seems an easy way to start. They claim to use 20% of the electricity and last 10 times as long. The quad version is 20w but claims to give the light of a 100w normal bulb. It looks a bit like a folded fluorescent tube, but I don’t think it can be. We’ll see how good they are.

Then today there was a letter from South Oxfordshire District Council about home energy use. It’s only a survey that will be followed up with ‘a personalised report detailing energy saving measures’. The key questions seemed to be about insulation and were tricky to complete in an accurate way for such an old house. Still good that they are doing this.

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