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By Fiona Pendlebury
"IT’S immaterial whether you believe in climate change or not. At the end of the day you will save money.”
Phil Neale is centre manager at the Dorset Energy Advice Centre in Parkstone, which gives tips on how to save power in the home and at work.
Many people wrongly believe that they have to spend a lot of money on energy saving measures and devices, but Phil says that this is not necessary.
By avoiding leaving appliances such as televisions, dvd players and computers on standby, people could save themselves £30 a year, says Phil.
The advice centre, a not-for-profit organisation, can also point people in the direction of grants for things like loft and cavity wall insulation which can cut heating bills.
People can also fit thick curtains to keep in the warmth.
Phil said: “There are simple tips such as only boiling as much water as you need and you will save £10 a year. Wash your laundry at 30C.
“The big thing is turning your appliances off. People should beware of some appliances which can use as much electricity when turned off at the unit as when they are in operation, for example computer printers.”
One family from Moordown ended up saving £23 per month by taking this advice and making sure no appliances were left on standby, said Phil.
“People should make sure their homes are insulated properly and contact us with regard to what grants are available both locally and nationally.”
Since 2004 the centre has worked with private landlords to improve the energy efficiency of rental properties and reduce fuel poverty and cold, damp, living conditions – bringing several million pounds of funding into Boscombe.
Last year (2008-2009) the centre dealt with 13,000 phone calls from people wanting advice and installed 5,136 measures into homes classed as fuel poor, says Phil.
The centre works in partnership with The Green Energy Centre, which has branches in Ferndown and Christchurch selling such things as solar panels and ground source heat pumps.
For further advice and support contact the Dorset Energy Advice Centre on 0800 975 0166