You can cut your energy requirements significantly, if you buy energy efficient appliances. All white-goods sold in the UK now carry the European Energy Label - this rates their efficiency in energy use and runs from A to G. To maximise your energy efficiency only buy machines from band A (fridge freezers go up to A++) and look for the energy saving ‘recommended logo. Other points to consider might be:

Washing machine: There are washing machines available that give you an eco-wash option. If you do not have one of these and are not in a position to buy one (which we don't advocate unless your old one is completely bust!) then try to wash at reduced temperatures. Whatever your machine, wash a full load whenever you can and remember to use the half load setting when necessary.

Fridge and freezer: Fridges and freezers are among the most energy hungry appliances we have, as they need to be on all the time. Ensuring seals are workingcorrectly, defrosting regularly, and ensuring doors are shut properly after use will help reduce your fridge and freezers energy demand. Fitting a SAVA plug will also help reduce energy use by an estimated 20%. However, if your fridge is over 10 years old it is highly likely to be very inefficient and so it will be worth investing in a new one.

www.sust-it.net/ provides consumer information on the most energy efficient products on the market, from white goods to entertainment and computers.

Energy Saving Trust: This is a non-profit organisation, set up to promote sustainable and efficient use of energy. From their website you can browse their database of energy saving products, including dishwashers, lightbulbs, windows and insulation. The site also lists retailers where you can purchase these items.