Help clear the air this new year

Posted 08/01/2020 by E.ON

The start of a new year, and indeed decade, seems the perfect time to stop and think about improvements we can make to our day-to-day lives. From eating better to spending more time with loved ones, there are many resolutions that can help improve our physical and emotional wellbeing.

But with air pollution now known to be one of the number one environmental threats to health in the UK, the good news is that each of us can take actions in our everyday lives that can make a difference.

Below are 10 ways you can help reduce air pollution in 2020 and beyond:

1. Demand renewable power. Replacing fossil fuel generation with renewables like solar and wind energy helps cut air pollution and greenhouse gases. Recently, the UK set a new record with more than 40% of the UK’s power coming from renewable sources on one day. And to help make choosing renewable energy at home easier, we now offer electricity backed by 100% renewable sources as standard(i).

2. Walk and bike more. Not only is being physically active good for our health but walking or cycling is a great way to keep cars off the road – and having fewer cars on the road means fewer pollutants going into the air we breathe. While there is some risk associated with breathing polluted air while exercising, in general, the physical benefits of exercise outweigh the risks.

3. Prioritise public transport. Riding the bus, train or tram is not a new concept. Public transport reduces the number of single emission-producing vehicles on the road, which means less emissions released into the atmosphere per person.

4. Get a home energy audit. A home energy audit like our ‘E.ON See’ can help you save money while reducing your carbon footprint. You can use the tool to compare your energy use to similar homes in your area, see where your energy’s going, get personalised energy saving advice and maybe a few extra pounds in your pocket.

5. Get an electric car. Demand for electric vehicles or EVs is growing—new registrations went up from 3,500 in 2013 to 223,000 by the end of July 2019. And we are working to build the infrastructure for EVs by installing several new charging points across the UK.

6. Consider a heat pump. Heat pumps work by transferring heat from naturally occurring sources like the air, the ground or even water with an electric compressor. The Domestic Renewable Heat Incentive (RHI) allows you to generate your own heat, then receive payments from the government for the energy produced. You could save over £1,000 per year in running costs since heat pumps run more efficiently than electric, oil or bottled gas boilers.

7. Make your home smarter. With the rise in popularity of digital assistants, it's easier than ever to automate your home and save energy in the process. Home automation devices like smart thermostats, smart meters and even smart sprinklers can be controlled from anywhere via your smartphone. They could also help you reduce the amount of natural resources needed to power your home, while cutting a few pounds from your bills in the process.

8. Reduce waste. We know that some of what we throw away still ends up in a landfill, which can generate methane gas that contributes to greenhouse gas emissions and global warming. Some waste is incinerated, which contributes to air pollution. The first step we can take to address this problem is to reduce the amount of waste we produce in the first place. Whether it's bringing a reusable cup to the coffee shop or a canvas tote bag to the market, reducing the amount of rubbish we create is a step in the right direction.

9. Replace outdated boilers. If your boiler is more than 10 years old, it may need to be replaced. If you are replacing an old boiler with a new one, building regulations require them to have an A-grade, which means they are at least 88% efficient. Condensing boilers are more efficient because they are able to use the heat produced from exhaust gases. We offer three different types of efficient condensing boilers based on your needs which are A-rated and 94% efficient.

10. Advocate for strict clean air policies. There have been major strides in improving air quality in the UK over the past 40 years because of major legislation effort and Air Quality Standards Regulations. However, there is still room for improvement in many urban areas where nitrogen dioxide concentrations and ammonia emissions are often above legal limits.

While large scale changes to energy production are key to reducing air pollution and the negative impacts of climate change, individual efforts to curb air pollution can add up to be a big part of the solution.

To find out more about how we’re helping to clear the air, click here.

i) Electricity sourced from E.ON’s renewable generation assets, supply agreements with independent UK wind generators and the purchase of renewable electricity certificates. The electricity supplied to your homes comes from the National Grid. Find out more at eonenergy.com/renewable.

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