Last year we asked staff the best way to save energy when offices shut down over the holiday period. This year, we’ve asked for the top recommendations to reduce energy consumption in the home, whether they are expecting a white Christmas or Christmas by the beach.

Spend time outdoors (with lots of sunscreen, of course), and avoid the energy consumption of being at home with the air conditioner on.
Fans can also help you cool down on a hot day, and they consume far less energy than air conditioners.

Melanie Louie, Hong Kong

Christmas lights are a great way to get into the festive spirit, unfortunately they consume energy and add to electricity bills. My tip to reduce energy consumption in the home over the Christmas break is to choose LED lighting and turn lights off overnight to avoid wasting energy when it’s not needed.

Victoria Norris, Sydney

Leave the A/C off and drink cold drinks with your feet in the kid’s paddling pool.
Hope England have a batting collapse in the Boxing Day test so you can turn the TV off a few days early.

But more seriously (and admitting these are pretty “hemisphere specific”):

  • Only run a second fridge if you really need it and can’t fit things in the main fridge.
  • Use fans before A/C
  • Fit bug screens so windows can stay open over night
  • Get some PV fitted to the roof
  • Or better yet, go camping with the family – seriously reduces consumption if you aren’t running a generator.

Andrew Thompson, Melbourne

Heating, heating and heating is by far the largest energy consumption in the UK (winter accounts for half of my total gas usage on average based on 7 years of data). So, draught proof the house as much as possible, install that extra layer of cheap loft insulation, set the timer to only heat the house when you are in, shut the internal doors, set the thermostatic rad valves lower in the bedrooms, by a rug and enjoy snuggling in the living room in the cool evenings!

Paul Chatwin graph

The above graph is kWh for gas consumption per month for my house starting January 2011 to November 2017 (red indicating December to February)

Paul Chatwin, Birmingham

There’s usually a lot going on at Christmas but don’t forget to recycle when you can.
Plain Christmas cards can be recycled but cards with glitter, foil or 3D images cannot. Check the packaging of your wrapping paper as not all is recyclable. Paper that is laminated with plastic, foil or other non-paper materials could disrupt the recycling process.
Christmas trees can also be recycled, so check with your local waste and recycling centre for details.

Natalie Groves, Newcastle

We hope you all have a wonderful Christmas.

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Sustainable Cundall, Sustainable Design, Working at Cundall


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