When Ben and I first switched to a renewable energy company around seven or eight years ago we were shocked by the cost. We were trying to do our bit for the environment, but at the time we couldn’t afford to pay a premium to be greener so we begrudgingly had to switch back to our old supplier.
Luckily times have changed and sustainability is a hot topic. In recent years we have actually been able to cut our household expenses by using renewable energy.
Getting free energy from solar panels
When we were looking to buy a home we were interested in any energy saving features they had. Luckily we were able to find a home with solar panels already installed. Going forward we would definitely look for another house with solar panels, or alternatively we would make the investment ourselves. As the new home owners the tariff simply transferred to us. Not only do we use the free solar energy before anything else, which reduces our bills, but we also sell the surplus back to the grid. These quarterly payments add up and they pay for two-thirds of our annual energy consumption (gas and electric). That’s quite a saving!
Investing in a log burner
Almost four years ago we invested in a log burner and we have been very lucky to not have to buy a single piece of wood yet! Ben’s late mum worked locally at a place that had woods on their grounds. They let us know whenever they had felled trees and were more than grateful for us to take the wood off their hands, as were we! We’ve also had family members call us whenever they’ve cut trees back, or their neighbours have, and want us to come and clear the wood. Ben, my husband, is always looking out for free wood opportunities on Facebook too. Plus we get lots of offcuts and smaller pieces that are great for kindle from Ben’s own workshop. I’m sure we’ll have to buy some wood soon as we are running low, but it must have saved us a small fortune to not buy any for four years and it might even stretch to five.
(Just to note you should never just take wood you find lying around in woods and forests. In some counties you can apply for a licence to give you permission to collect felled wood on Forestry Commission owned land, otherwise you’ll need permission from the landowner.)
Switching to a renewable energy supplier
We had been wasting money needlessly for the first few years in our new home as we had stuck with the same energy supplier. I never realised how easy it was to switch and the great savings we could make. In 2018 we took the plunge, did a price comparison and switched to renewable energy company Bulb. This saved us £264 compared to our old supplier British Gas and the most amazing thing is Bulb use 100% renewable electricity and 10% green gas. This definitely aligns with our values and we’ll be looking for green energy companies should we ever switch again.
Those are the three ways we use renewable energy at home. Amazingly all three ways have been saving us money too!
Great blog posts to read next:
7 ways to live a more sustainable lifestyle
3 Important Reasons to Choose Organic (other than your personal health)
13 eco-friendly ways to start saving money in the kitchen
Plastic is not fantastic – the dirty secret of where our recycling really goes