Act On CO2

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How to cut your carbon footprint without even having to put your shoes on.

The government's Act On CO2 campaign is becoming increasingly well known, as are the facts about global warming and CO2 emissions. But as you look out of the window and you see snowdrifts for much of the winter, and summers so chilly your barbecue stays in the shed, it's easy to dismiss the idea of global warming, and with it any feelings that you might in some way be contributing towards it.

But the fact is that global warming is happening. It isn't going to mean a continual increase in temperature, simply because of natural fluctuations. We're not talking about Hollywood interpretations of sudden global calamity overnight, but a gradual, persistent increase in average global temperatures year on year.

This half century is the warmest for at least 1,300 years, and the last two decades the hottest for 400 years.

Industrialisation has made carbon emissions rise by 35%, the highest for 800,000 years.

Act On CO2 isn't just some government initiative designed to improve publicity. Global warming is a fact; that CO2 emissions are the prime cause of global warming is a fact, and that right now, at this very moment your home is directly contributing to the problem is a fact.

But what if you could cut the amount of carbon your home is responsible for?

What if you could cut carbon emissions whilst also saving hundreds of pounds every year on your fuel bills?

And what if you could achieve all of this for free?

The Act On CO2 campaign is designed to highlight ways in which businesses, householders, travellers and communities can all help lower carbon emissions whilst saving money. Saving the world doesn't have to take very much - loft insulation which can be completed in the time it takes to cook dinner could save the average home £150 on fuel bills every year, and cut carbon emissions by 800kg - that's the equivalent of two elephants!

Cavity wall insulation is another area highlighted by the Act On CO2 campaign as it can save up to £115 every year, and cut carbon emissions by 610kg - that's another one and a half elephants!

Although the Act On CO2 initiative is aimed at reducing carbon emissions, the benefits to householders extend beyond cutting fuel bills by hundreds of pounds every year, although for most people that's a good enough reason anyway.

Loft insulation and cavity wall insulation will inevitably make your home feel more comfortable, and can cut down on condensation. It's also worth bearing in mind that with the HIP or Home Information Pack now required for selling property, having loft insulation or cavity wall insulation is a real selling point, lowering the energy rating and increasing the value.

Through the Act On CO2 campaign, homeowners and tenants can qualify for a range of grants backed by the UK Government under the CERT scheme (Carbon Emissions Reductions Target). For anyone over the age of 70 or on various qualifying benefits loft insulation and cavity wall insulation are free of charge.

Otherwise grants of up to 70% are available, and if you do have to pay the costs are only in the region of £99 to £199. When you bear in mind that loft insulation could save £150 per year and cavity wall insulation £115 per year, you could recover your costs completely in 1-2 years.

The Act On CO2 website suggests you contact the Energy Saving Trust to find registered installers, but there is another way, by talking to an organisation that has already saved 60,000 tonnes of carbon over the past three years alone - that's almost the weight of the QE2!

Whether you consider home insulation to be of benefit to the environment or to your pocket, it couldn't be easier to start saving. Loft insulation only takes around an hour, with cavity wall insulation usually taking 2-3 hours. Before you know it, you will be saving the equivalent of three and a half elephants' worth of carbon every year.

EnergyLink have a network of approved installers across the UK who all have access to CERT funding. Give EnergyLink a call today or visit their website, they can carry out a completely free no-obligation survey, arrange the work and then claim the insulation grant for you.

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