Tips to help save money and the planet

Useful Tips to Help Save Money & the Planet

There is no doubt that the climate is changing. The ice caps are melting, our winters are getting warmer and summer now includes flash flooding.

So what can you do in your French home to help repair the planet and also save yourself money on rising energy costs? Well, here are some effective ways to go about it.

Fit energy-saving light bulbs. The vast majority of us continue to light our homes with incandescent bulbs that use five times as much energy and cost five times as much to run as energy-saving alternatives.

Insulate! Roughly half of the average house's heat is lost through its loft and walls. So lag your loft with eco-friendly, recycled newspaper insulation or sheep’s wool. And if you've got cavity walls, get them filled too.

Build a mini power plant! Solar energy panels are surprisingly good at making electricity and could generate half of a typical home's annual needs wherever you live in France. And a solar thermal installation could provide 50% of your hot water needs. Domestic wind turbines, too, can also reduce your dependence on the French national grid.

Fit reflective foil behind your radiators because half of the heat from most radiators goes straight out the back and gets wasted.

Get an eco kettle and boil just the right amount of water for your requirements. It’s amazing the amount of unnecessary power you can save this way.

Say ‘au revoir’ to standby lights. The average home wastes between 6 -10%of their electricity bill a year to keep gadgets unnecessarily blinking on standby. So turn them off!

Use less water. We each waste a staggering 150 litres of water daily, and the lavatory is one of the key water wasters. Many French homes have a dual-flush loo but if not fit a water saving device or simply stick a full plastic water bottle in your cistern so it uses less water per flush.

Get a smart meter. Most people have no idea how much they're spending on electricity at home, even after another confusing bill has landed on their kitchen table. So get a special meter so you can track down where all your electricity is going.

Finally, always buy energy efficient appliances. What's on in every home, 24 hours a day, seven days a week and 365 days a year? It's your fridge-freezer! So whenever you're replacing yours or buying other white goods - including washing machines - look out for the EU Energy Label. “A” is the top, but now there is also “A++”.

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