Everyone uses energy, but if people used less it would be possible to reduce the amount needed. Energy use can be measured through carbon footprints. A bigger carbon footprint means that more energy is used and therefore more carbon is produced. Carbon footprints take into account:
New homes built in the UK have lots of energy-saving measures, like loft and wall insulation, radiator thermostats and smart energy meters that monitor energy use. This is because any homes that are built or rented out have an energy rating. A-rated homes use the least energy and G-rated homes use the most.
Businesses and organisations like to be energy efficient because it saves money. Public buildings like schools and hospitals have to display an energy certificate to show how much energy they use.
Local councils encourage people to use sustainable methods of transport. This could be through providing public transport, creating cycle lanes or introducing congestion charging. London has all of these measures, plus an underground train network and a cycle hire scheme. Walking is another option.
Modern life is dependent upon the use of electrical items. The European Union (EU) has introduced a system that rates household appliances, like washing machines and dishwashers - A+++ items use the least electricity and D items use the most. This helps people to choose products that use less energy.
Many cars now use less fuel and some have batteries so that they can be charged using renewable electricity. The Vehicle Excise Duty (VED) is a tax for car owners. People who drive less energy efficient cars pay a higher VED.