The Energy Activators project is an Inverclyde-based initiative that has been launched to deliver a full range of energy advice and resource efficiency programmes to residents of three of Inverclyde’s main housing associations - Cloch, Oak Tree and Larkfield. The project is operated by the Wise Group on behalf of the Associations
The Energy Activators from Wise Group alongside Cloch Housing Association can provide you with free, impartial energy advice to help you manage your energy use and save you money. Jonathan Moore will be working with Cloch until the end of September 2022. He is being assisted by colleagues from the Wise Group.
Our Energy Activators offer free energy assessments where they will help you to use energy more efficiently, get the best deals on your gas and electricity, better understand your fuel bills and meter readings and access potential grants and funding.
They can also talk to your energy suppliers to settle any issues or disputes you may have or help you move to another supplier.
If you need any advice or assistance please complete the form in the Tenant Portal (MyCloch) or call the office on 01475 783637.
Please note that the Energy Activators will not come to your home without contacting you in advance and all carry photographic identification.
Energy efficiency: Let’s do some good together
Here are tried and tested methods for saving power, pennies, and the planet.
Help with heating.
If you've turned up the heat but your home doesn't feel any hotter (and we know you've checked the windows are shut), here are our top tips for seeing how you could warm things up:
A little space goes a long way
We’ve all done it. Pushed the sofa right up to the radiator to make more space in the room or closed the curtains over the radiator. This stops the radiator from doing its best for you, so by leaving as much space as you can around them, the heat can circulate better. And as tempting as it might be to dry clothes on the radiator, give your radiator space to be ace.
Leave your thermostat alone
It can be really tempting when you get home to a cold house to whack the thermostat up to try and heat the place up. But resist. It won’t get warmer any quicker and you could be wasting energy. Your thermostat will work best for you if you set it to a comfortable temperature and leave it. Let it do its job. And on that note, if you can bear to turn your thermostat down by just 1 degree, you could reduce your heating costs by up to £80 per year.
Winter sun – for free
Make the most of what you’ve got. It might be cold outside, but when the glorious sun is shining, open your curtains and blinds to let the heat it generates into your home. Don’t forget to close them when the sun goes down, to keep the heat in and the draughts out.
Not everyone feels comfortable in the dark, especially young children, so if you leave a light on at night, choose an energy efficient one to keep the cost down. It soon adds up.
Don’t light up the night
Outdoor lighting is a great way to welcome you home, but if it’s not light sensitive don’t forget to change the timer as the seasons change.
Low energy bulbs light the way
Next time you need to replace a bulb, opt for an energy efficient one and it’ll pay off in the long run. They tend to last longer and are much cheaper to buy than they used to be, so savings stack up sooner.
Boilers need a break too
When you’re leaving for a well-earned break, give your boiler a break too by switching it off when you go away. Your boiler uses the most energy in your home so be energy-saving savvy and don’t leave it on when you don’t need to. If you’re away during winter, instead of turning it off completely we’d recommend setting it to low or frost protection mode if you have one, to stop your pipes freezing up.
Nudge it down a notch
Like the room thermostat for controlling your heating, your hot water cylinder temperature can be changed too. Many are set to 65 degrees by default and you’ll find you can turn it down to around 60 degrees and still have enough hot water for your household as well as save some money. In a typical home, water heating makes up a quarter of the energy use, so it’s well worth trying.
Which way to cook today?
If you’re using the oven, do you have anything else which can be cooked at the same time to make the most of your energy? Do you need to use the oven or hob, or will something else get the job done faster? The toaster or microwave can get the job done quicker in a lot of cases and use much less energy so taking a moment to think about which way works best can help keep your energy costs down.
Put a lid on it
Pop a lid on your pan or casserole dish and it’ll help keep the heat in, meaning it cooks quicker. And quicker cooking means less energy, which makes for lower energy bills. You know it makes sense.
Fill it up
Make the most of your dish by cooking extra - freeze leftovers and you’ll have a ready-made meal for another day, saving time and energy. Just make sure you let your food cool before you pop it in the freezer – another cool energy saving tip.
Think about what you’re going to eat for the week ahead and plan when you need to get those leftovers out to enjoy. Make sure you leave enough time for them to defrost in the fridge instead of using hot water or the microwave – it takes a bit longer but uses much less energy. Check what you have in the fridge, freezer and cupboards before you head to the shops. Buy only what you need and you’ll save money, waste less and if you cook in bulk you’ll save energy too.
Lower the temperature and bring down your bills
Washing your dirty laundry at a higher temperature than it needs uses more energy. And that costs money. If your clothes aren’t heavily soiled, try washing them at 30C - even 20 degrees, which can use up to 66% less energy than a standard 40 degree wash. Check your detergent to see that it will work at lower temperatures – some will work as low as 15 degrees.
Choose a quick wash
This holds true for both washing machines and dishwashers. Choosing a quick wash rather than the standard one can clean your clothes or make your crockery sparkle for less – and you’ll save time too.
Hang out your washing
There are many laundry products based on that freshly washed fragrance but nothing beats that summer fresh feeling line dried clothes. By hanging them out to dry instead of throwing them in the tumble dryer, you’ll save energy and help your clothes last longer.
Keep your fridge clean
Your fridge is on 24/7 so it’s no surprise that the fridge is one of the biggest energy users in your kitchen. If the coils on the back are dirty or dusty, your fridge will be working harder than it needs to. Give them a clean every few months to help keep your fridge running efficiently – the instruction manual will tell you what to do.
Leave room for the water
It’s more cost-effective to make sure the washing machine or dishwasher has a full load, even if it has a half-load option. Just don’t be tempted to overfill your appliances as it can make them less effective and mean they don’t get cleaned properly.
Switching to smart.
Switching to a smart meter gives you the information you need to take the small steps that can have a big impact. So all those tips you see above, you’ll be able to monitor the impacts of these changes. All of this is done through that wonderful device: your in-home display.
Any savings shown are given as a guide and will be different for each household