25/10/2004

Energy users urged to cut fuel bills and save environment

Millions of people could save money on fuel bills and help cut harmful greenhouse gases by joining in Energy Efficiency Week - a big energy-saving 'turn off' campaign kicking off today.

Organised by the Energy Saving Trust, the nationwide campaign aims to raise awareness of the damage that wasting energy does to the climate. New research from the trust and UK Climate Change Impact Programme has found a "clear link" between climate change and how we use energy in the home.

Simple steps such as not leaving TVs and videos on standby, switching off lights in unused rooms, switching to energy-saving light bulbs and turning down the central heating by one degree not only save money but play a part in efforts to curb carbon emissions which contribute to climate change.

At the launch of the campaign, Environment Minister Elliot Morley announced £3 million extra for a winter campaign by the Energy Saving Trust to promote the Energy Efficiency Commitment under which electricity and gas suppliers help domestic customers to save energy through measures such as insulation.

Mr Morley said: "The energy we use at home contributes to climate change, so saving energy is not just good for people's pockets but good for the environment too.

"Not only must we show consumers how to cut energy use but everyone involved in building homes - architects, builders, suppliers and planners - should take the lead and create more energy-efficient, sustainable homes."

Defra unveiled a new energy-efficiency action plan earlier this year designed to boost efforts to tackle climate change and to save consumers more than £3billion on their energy bills by 2010. The government aims to cut carbon emissions by an extra 12 million tonnes through energy efficiency within the next six years.

Defra supports the Energy Saving Trust with around £25 million a year.

(gmcg/sp)

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