Monday, July 13, 2009

Carbon Management

This afternoon's Environment committee produced some interesting facts but also raised some serious questions. For example, to produce a really top notch, carbon neutral school building might cost something like 7% more than to produce one that just scrapes through the new building regulations. It'll save lots more energy, but over a long period of time. Should we spend the extra £1m on that building, thus perhaps not being able to do something else? If so - what do we cut? Or do we settle for just getting by?
We had the usual problem of council officers who are immersed in their subject not being able to explain it in layman's terms but in the end came to an agreement about what information they can provide and how they'll do that. What we'll make of it remains to be seen. This review is proving very interesting but also very difficult to manage. Unfortunately money doesn't grow on trees - I'm sure Gordon Brown wishes it did.
The council's PR department did manage to work with the technical people to produce an interesting and useful press release. I hope the local press pick it up but in case they don't I reproduce the relevant parts below. Do read, learn and inwardly digest as my English teacher used to say.


All week Stockton Borough Council is offering advice and top tips on how to make a small change in your life to help make a big difference to the environment.

And of course, saving energy also saves money.

Each home in the UK produces approximately six tonnes of Carbon Dioxide each year. That’s practically the weight of a whole elephant!

The average resident in Stockton each has a carbon footprint which is equivalent to 4.3 tonnes of Carbon Dioxide - the weight of two rhinos.

Insulating your home is by far the best way to make your home more energy efficient. Cavity wall and loft insulation, which can cost as little as £99 each, can start you off saving on your heating bills straight away.

While some people may see this as a cost, it’s really a very reasonable investment as the price can often be recovered in just one year. If you are on certain benefits, or over 70 years old, you can have cavity wall and loft insulation installed free of charge.

To find out more visit the Small Change Big Difference road show or log onto

The road shows, which runs from 10am – 2pm, will be at the town centres of Billingham on Monday, Stockton on Wednesday and Thornaby on Thursday.

Top Tips for Energy Saving

  • Wash wise – try to wash a full load in dishwashers and washing machines – two half loads use more energy and water than a full load.

  • Wash at 30°C - today’s washing detergents are designed to work best at lower temperatures.

  • Give your oven the day off – slow cookers use the same amount of energy as a light bulb. A microwave uses 10 minutes of energy for every 40 minutes used by a conventional oven.

  • A fridge can use 20 per cent of the energy used in your home – make sure it is well maintained and running efficiently. Replacing your old freezer with a new energy efficient model will save you money. A new ‘A’ rated energy efficient model uses nearly a third of the energy of a 10 year old model.

  • Computers – when replacing consider a laptop which uses 70 per cent less energy than a desktop computer. Not changing yet? Why not invest in an energy saving mains controller or ‘powerdown’ unit which automatically switches off the monitor, printer, scanner etc when the computer is switched off.

Anyone in the Stockton Borough who wants to find out about how much energy they are using can borrow an energy meter for one month from their local library. Part of our ‘Watt’s Going Down’ scheme to encourage lower energy usage, the meter simply connects to the electricity meter in the home and provides a read out of the cost of energy used.


Chuck Rogers said...

Tv Trickle Saver is what I use in my house to lessen my carbon footprint! I think you should do the same!

Building Materials Supplies said...

Everyone is responsbile for reducing there carbon foot print.

i think this is very important