Energy use at home
We tend to have a high energy use at home. But what do we use it for and how does it affect the environment?
How we use energy in our homes
In our kitchens the fridge, dishwasher and oven use electricity. Lights, mobile phones and laptops all need power too.
It takes energy to heat the water you have in your bath or shower. Washing clothes takes power and using a drier to dry them takes more power. What else do you have in your home that uses energy? Do you have toys which need to be plugged in or need batteries?
Non Renewable Source of energy
Some of the energy we use comes from natural resources like oil, gas and coal. These are non-renewable sources of energy – meaning once we have used them, they are gone forever. Burning fossil fuels for energy releases carbon dioxide, methane and other gases into the environment which is directly linked to climate change. These gasses are also know as ‘Greenhouse’ gases.
Renewable Sources of energy
We can also get our energy from renewable sources. These sources don’t get used up and are better for the environment. They do cost more than non renewable sources though.
Wind Power comes from large wind turbines generate electricity from the power of the wind. Solar energy comes from the sun and is turned into electricity using solar panels which you may have seen on the roofs of houses. We can also harness power from geothermal energy which comes from heat inside earth, waves and tides and from hydro power from dams and rivers.
Nine ways to save energy at home
Turn off lights
Turn off lights when you leave a room. This is especially important in the darker winter months when we use electric lighting a lot more often. If you have fairy lights make sure you use rechargeable batteries rather than traditional batteries. You could also use lights with a timer so you don’t forget to turn them off.
Close fridge door
It takes a lot of energy to keep the food in your fridge cold. When you open the door your fridge has to work harder to keep cool – and this uses more energy. Next time you go and get some food from your fridge don’t keep the door open whilst you decide what to eat. Decide before you open the door!
Wear a jumper
Instead of turning up the heating when you’re cold, put on a jumper. Turing down the heating in your house by just a couple of degrees makes a difference to the amount of energy your are using to heat your home. You should also use a timer so that your heating is only on when you are in the house.
Make sure your clothes are actually dirty before washing them. Only putting on a full wash and washing clothes at 30 degrees also saves energy.
Dry clothes outside
Driers use loads of energy to dry clothes. Use the sun – it’s a renewable source of energy which is free to use and doesn’t harm the environment.
Heating your home uses lots of energy, especially in the winter months. Keep your closed to stop heat escaping – and reduce your energy bills!
When you turn off your TV or games console you may notice it has a little red or green light that remains turned on. This is because it’s on standby – and still using energy.
Turn off your games console or TV and go and do something that doesn’t use up energy. Play with toys, read a book, do some crafting or painting or go and play outside.
Take short showers
It may be tempting to stay under the shower for a long time – it is relaxing – but it also uses up a lot of energy to heat the water. So take short showers instead.