Power of One booklet

Power of One booklet
An introduction to
Energy saving at home
About Sustainable Energy Ireland
What is the Power of One?
Sustainable Energy Ireland (SEI) is Ireland’s national energy authority with a mission
to promote and assist the development of sustainable energy. Its activities cover
two main areas:
If each of us becomes aware of our own power when it comes to energy efficiency,
and use it properly, we can collectively make a big difference, to ourselves, to our
pockets, and to the environment. By taking individual responsibility and changing
our behaviour in small ways every day, we’ll help save energy while we save money
Energy Use
SEI can help to reduce the amount of energy we use in Ireland by assisting
our homes, businesses and industries to be more energy efficient.
Renewable Energy
By promoting the development and wider use of renewable energy in
Ireland, SEI can help to further reduce the threat of climate change and
further benefit the environment.
You’ll find up to date information about our activities, as well as advice and tips, on
our website at www.sei.ie
Contact us, engage with us, ask for advice, put forward your ideas. We’re here to
listen and to help. By working together, we’ll create a greener, cleaner, sustainable
energy future for Ireland.
All we have to do is recognise our power, and use it.
That’s what the Power of One is all about.
For more information check out www.sei.ie/powerofone
What is the Power of One street?
Power of One street was created as a real-life energy makeover challenge which
took place in 13 ordinary Irish households, a school and a business, in 2007 and
2008. The challenge was designed to demonstrate to householders across Ireland
how simple and beneficial it is to adopt energy-saving habits in the home, as part
of their everyday routine. And like most makeovers, the before and after difference
in terms of energy, CO2 emissions, and money saved was staggering. See their
results on page 4.
For more information log on to www.sei.ie/powerofone
Meet some of the Power of One street families
Eight of the Power of One street families learned that it’s not so hard to make a few smart
changes each day and save money. The results show that the families have reduced their
annual energy bills by an average of €700 or 20%.
Getting started on saving energy in the home
Power of One street results
Annual saving Total CO2 reduction
Total energy
We use energy to heat and light our homes and to run our appliances, TVs and
computers. In fact, the residential sector is one of Ireland’s largest energy consumers,
accounting for almost a quarter of our energy use - more than either transport or
industry. And virtually all of that energy comes from non renewable fossil fuels
with consequent emissions of CO2, a greenhouse gas that causes climate change.
Brennan family
3.2 tonnes
Watterson family
1.3 tonnes
Horler family
3.6 tonnes
Conway family
1.9 tonnes
Here are some common sense, practical ways you can reduce the amount of energy
used in your home:
Joyce family
1.9 tonnes
Ratoath GAA Club
2.7 tonnes
Turn your heating down to a comfortable 20°C. By lowering your
Cork School
8.1 tonnes
Heffernan family
3.7 tonnes
Carroll/Cassidy family
1.8 tonnes
Davies family
1.9 tonnes
Gleeson family
3.9 tonnes
Crowley family
2.7 tonnes
Heery family
1.8 tonnes
Meehan family
3.2 tonnes
McCabe family
3.3 tonnes
Being more sustainable offers sound financial and practical benefits. By becoming
energy aware at home, you can save money, increase the comfort of your home
and help to reduce climate change.
thermostat by 1°C you can cut your heating bill by 10%.
Use TRVs (thermostatic radiator valves) to keep your rooms at a
constant, comfortable temperature.
Service your boiler regularly to maximise its efficiency, reliability and
safety. You could improve the overall efficiency by 10%.
Insulate the attic and walls to make your home more comfortable
and reduce heating costs. Between them they could reduce heat
loss by 30-40%. Effective attic insulation can pay for itself in two
to three years.
Draught proof windows and external doors to reduce heat loss,
making sure to leave sufficient ventilation for the home occupants and
any fuel burning appliances or fires.
*SEI offers a range of grants for homeowners. Check out www.sei.ie/grants for more information.
The Power of One street participants made a combined
annual saving of over €9,000 on their energy bills and the
total CO2 reduction achieved was 45 tonnes.
Use energy efficient light bulbs, Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs),
instead of traditional bulbs. CFLs consume only a fifth of the
energy and last up to 10 times as long.
Turn off lights when leaving a room.
Look for the energy label (rated A to G, with A being the most
efficient) when buying a new kitchen appliance and choose the
most efficient one you can. It will save you money on energy bills
and be less harmful to the environment.
Unplug or turn off electrical equipment that’s not in use – appliances
on standby use up to 20% of the energy they would use if turned on.
For a full explanation of how you can improve the overall energy efficiency of your
home, read our guide Householders, be your own energy manager.
Getting around
The number of cars on Irish roads has increased by over 50% in the past ten
years, private cars now represent 60% of all road transport energy use. As a result,
transport emissions represent a large proportion of overall polluting emissions
(78% of carbon monoxide emissions and 22% of carbon dioxide emissions). So
when out and about, some of the ways you can make changes for the better
include walking, cycling and taking public transport.
We can all play our part in helping to reduce the impact of cars on the
Think about when you drive
Avoid using your car for short or unnecessary journeys. Try walking or
cycling instead. It’s great for your health.
Take public transport when it’s available. It’s cost effective, convenient and
you’ll be helping the environment.
Think about what you drive
Check the Environmental Labelling of Cars. Under EU and
Irish law, the motor industry must clearly display the fuel
economy and CO2 emissions of new passenger cars. Labels
indicate the energy performance of cars on an A to G range,
with A being best. New cars registered are now subject to
VRT and annual road tax based on their CO2 emissions, so
the more efficient the car, the lower the VRT and tax.
To find out how your car rates check out the ‘How Clean is Your Car’ section
of the SEI website (www.sei.ie) which lists the fuel consumption, CO2, and
other performance figures of cars from the year 2000 on.
Contact Revenue Commissioners for VRT and motor tax rates (www.revenue.ie)
Think about how you drive
A more energy conscious driving style could save you significant amounts on
petrol or diesel and is also safer and more relaxing.
When starting your car, turn the engine on and drive off gently, without
delay. This will reduce excessive fuel consumption and pollution.
Reduce unnecessary drag. Removing unused bike racks or roof boxes will
save 15-40% fuel consumption.
Keep cool by using the car’s vents, rather than leaving the windows or sun
roof open, this will save a further 3-5%.
Save fuel in town. Avoid over-revving the engine and drive in as high a
gear as is suitable to road conditions.
Maintain your car regularly. A properly serviced car, with good engine
lubrication, wheel alignment and well adjusted brakes, will reduce your
fuel consumption. It will also be safer and more reliable.
A range of publications on the following topics can be downloaded at
The change campaign is a vital part of Ireland’s plan of action on climate change.
The campaign’s overriding goal is to engage the nation on the issue and to drive
the significant behavioural changes that will be required to lower greenhouse
gas emissions. At the core of the campaign is the change.ie website and carbon
calculator which helps people identify real savings you can make because when
you cut carbon, you cut costs.
Sustainable energy
For more information visit www.change.ie
Energy management in the home
Renovating or building an energy efficient home
design by Penhouse www.penhouse.ie
Sustainable Energy Ireland
Wilton Park House, Wilton Place, Dublin 2, Ireland.
T: 1850 376 666 | [email protected] | www.sei.ie
SEI is funded by the Irish Government under the
National Development Plan with programmes
part financed by the European Union.
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