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One Street, One Goal: reducing energy bills

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X-Ray production team X-Ray production team | 16:55 UK time, Monday, 31 May 2010

This week we are looking at one of the biggest household bills, energy.

As a nation, it's estimated that waste £300 a year on energy. In High Street, Heol y Cyw, the average energy bill is £145 a month, so we visited some of its residents to see if we could help them save money.

The Powsons live next door to the rugby club and for a family of three they have quite a few appliances - 32 in all. From games consoles and portable televisons, to dishwashers and three fridge freezers. And they're not exactly shy about using them!

energy_monitor.jpg

Energy monitor

The Lloyd family live at the farm house at the bottom of High Street. Mum Donna is keen to teach her young sons about the importance of turning things off as well as saving money.

Esther Talent works for the Energy Saving Trust and she says there are lots of easy things the residents can do that are totally free. They can change the way that they use their appliances in their homes, something we can all do and doesn't cost us anything.

First stop is the Powsons. Esther wastes no time in pointing out their bad habits, from TVs on in empty rooms to reducing the number of fridge freezer applicances they use.

In the Lloyds house, Esther asked Donna to check how many things are on standby, and it was a real eye opener, with 22 appliances on standby. The average household spends about 8% of their annual electricity bill on keeping their appliances on standby.

To show both families exactly how much they're wasting, Esther gave them a handy gadget, an energy monitor to show how much energy they use and how much it costs. The Lloyds' monitor showed that they're using £113 a month, with the Powsons currently spending about £88 a month.

So by turning off appliances which don't need to be on, can the Powsons and Lloyds reduce their monthly bills? We'll be catching up with them in a few weeks' time to see if they really have changed their ways.

Useful links to help you bring down those energy bills

As of May 2010, energy monitors are available to borrow free of charge from public libraries in Cardiff and Carmarthenshire. Other areas of Wales may introduce schemes soon, so check with your local council. 

Give your home an energy check-up at the Energy Savings Trust website.

Energy saving tips from the Energy Savings Trust.

Find out what grants and discounts you might be entitled to from the Energy Savings Trust.

What energy-saving events are happening in your local area?

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