Local resident talks about winning regional energy saver award
By jmitchell27 | Thursday, October 01, 2009, 13:46
This summer Nick Barnard of Alveston was declared ‘Energy
Master’ for South Gloucestershire, and I was lucky enough to be able to ask him
a few questions about how he came to achieve this feat.
Nick won his award as part of a scheme that was operated
through the Severn Wye Energy Agency (SWEA) - a group that he came into contact
with through our own Sustainable Thornbury. SWEA asked Sustainable Thornbury if
they wanted to enter a team and Nick was the only one to respond to their
request (though many other teams were recruited through other contacts). In order to win the award Nick and his family were required
to reduce their energy consumption through behavioural changes, for example,
having extra insulation fitted wouldn’t count as entrants were required to
reduce their energy consumption through change of habit alone.
I asked Nick what methods he used to cut back on energy consumption
in his household, and he explained that the real key to saving energy was
vigilance. Nick changed the heating timers in his home, but he also became more
disciplined when it came to switching things off – a large number of products
like computers and microwaves use energy even when they are turned off and are still
plugged in; despite all this good advice though my favourite energy saving
method was probably the instruction to iron less.
If you want to reduce the level of energy you consume in
your house then Nick advises that you borrow an energy monitor from your
library. The monitors are easy to use and very enlightening, if nothing else
they should enable you to save some money on your bills – one person in the
scheme found out they had been paying around £140 a year to run a pump in their
Hopefully this information has been eye opening for you and
will encourage our readers to help reduce carbon emissions and save themselves some
money in the process.