More Efficiency but Increased Demand
Up to the age of around 40 years old I lived in shared accommodation and rented homes. None were particularly well insulated – from the 400 yr old cottage I grew up in, to living with friends whilst living and working in London. I’ve never owned a car. In my late teens to early twenties I did own various motorbikes. My biggest energy hit at one time was a 3 month round the world trip that obviously burned-up large amounts of kerosene. I no longer fly for leisure (occasionally have to for work if very long distance). My energy consumption has increased over the last ten years (except flying), despite extensive work on insulating the house my partner, kids and I live in and own in York. The reasons for this are as follows.
Home working: when my partner and I moved to York I worked at home for a couple of days a week – obviously therefore heating the house during the day – and also travelled down to London on high-speed train to work there three days a week.
My partner and I then started a family, which resulted in the house being heated every day together with a more active washing machine (reusable nappies, etc). We also started borrowing a friend’s car for holidays as we found it nigh-on impossible to do so by public transport.
We have tried to reduce the increased energy consumption through fitting top range double-glazing and new doors to our small mid-terraced house, new boiler, thermostats on radiators and solar PV on the roof. We are also slowly fitting flexible insulated lining (sempatap) to rooms as we get round to decorating them.
We continue to try to manage energy closely (energy efficiency appliances, etc). Roll on low carbon electricity. We buy from green energy, but our heating is gas and we’re not yet ready for heat pumps – if they work for small terraces in terms of noise.
My energy consumption has increased over the last ten years (except flying), despite extensive work on insulating the house my partner, kids and I live in and own in York.”