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Sustainable switches to help you survive the cost of living crisis

Climate action
Small businesses

16.3.2022

4

 mins

By 

Lucy O'Connor

Climate action
Small businesses
Sustainable switches to help you survive the cost of living crisis

16.3.2022

4

 mins

By 

Lucy O'Connor

Average UK petrol prices have exceeded 149p for the first time. Rising fuel prices paired with increasing energy prices and inflation is adding to the cost of living crisis in the UK. Below, we explore why the cost of everything is increasing, and how sustainable lifestyle changes can help people make savings.

Rising fuel prices

The invasion of Ukraine by Russia—one of the world's largest oil producers—has contributed to the rising price of oil and gas.

Europe is dependent on Russia for about 40% of its natural gas supplies. Despite the expansion of renewable energy in the past 2 decades, the dependency is increasing as countries shift away from coal to gas.

Now, Russia is using its dominance over European gas supply for political means.

Countries like the US, Italy and the UK are responding by banning imports of Russian oil, natural gas and coal. As a result, we're seeing a spike in oil prices, which were already on the rise.

The opportunity for green energy

As governments rethink their oil and gas supply, there is an opportunity to invest more heavily in renewables and work towards becoming more energy efficient. This would help reduce emissions, increase energy security, and tackle rising energy bills that leave lower-income households in fuel poverty.

Rising energy prices

An ONS survey revealed 66% of adults in Britain reported an increase in their cost of living in February, with rising energy prices fuelling the surge.

Energy bills are increasing because the energy price cap—the maximum price suppliers in the UK can charge households—is being raised. Ofgem announced it will increase by 54% from 1 April 2022, adding £693 per year to the average household bill.

How to save energy and reduce costs

We want to help you reduce your carbon footprint and save money. Whether that involves making small sustainable switches or insulating your home—we've got some tips to help you.

Saving on fuel

Use public transport

Using public transport instead of single journeys in your car can help reduce carbon emissions. The price of public transport is also less than the cost of fuelling your car right now.

Discover how much carbon you could save using our carbon tracker app.

Practice eco-driving

If you need to use your car:

  • Limit your speed and use less acceleration: The Department for Transport (DfT) found driving on the motorway at 80mph uses around 25% more fuel than driving at 70mph.
  • Ensure your tyres are pumped: Under-inflated tyres and misaligned wheels will drag down a car's fuel economy and is costly to repair.
  • Try to use E10 (10% ethanol) fuel to reduce CO2 emissions.

Need a new car? Consider going electric

While it's not an option for everyone, those looking for a new car can reduce running costs by making the switch to an electric vehicle (EV). If you can charge at home and switch to a competitive tariff, becoming an EV driver could save you money.

Saving energy in your home

Switch off standby

You can save around £30 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode. We recommend investing in a standby saver which allows you to turn all your devices off in one go.

Turn down your thermostat

Aim to keep your thermostat at a lower temperature (around 17°C)—turning your thermostat down by even 1°C could save you energy and approximately £75 per year.

Switch to energy-efficient light bulbs

Traditional bulbs are extremely inefficient, while LED bulbs use about 75-80% less energy. So, next time you replace your bulbs, make the switch to LED.

Draught-proof windows and doors

Unless you're living in a new-build, you are likely losing heat through draughts around doors and windows. Draught-proofing windows and doors and blocking cracks in floors can save you around £40 a year on energy bills.

Top up your insulation

Effective insulation of your hot water cylinder is important: even if you have thin spray foam or a loose 25mm jacket, you can benefit from increasing the insulation to a British Standard Jacket 80mm thick.

Be careful with your washing

Use your washing machine on a 30°C cycle, make sure you use a full load, and reduce your washing machine use as much as possible.

Make sustainable change stick

Cogo's carbon tracking app can help people create long-lasting behavioural change. How? people are recognised for the efforts they are taking to reduce their footprint and receive personalised 'nudges' on additional actions they could take.

If you’re looking to track, reduce and compensate your impact, download our app.

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