Climate change is a hot topic, but phrases like ‘green energy’ or ‘renewable energy’ can pass us by without knowing what they really mean to us personally. Find out what changes, big or small, you could be doing that will make a big difference to living in a greener Chelmsford.

solar panels on a roof
Above: solar panels on a roof

1. Get your energy from a renewable source

When choosing your gas or electricity supplier, you can opt for it to be supplied by a renewable energy supply. Renewable energy, or green energy, is an energy source that is sustainable, meaning it can’t run out. Solar power (energy from the sun), wind power and bioenergy are all renewable options. Traditional sources of energy such as oil, gas and coal are known as fossil fuels. They are not sustainable which means one day they will run out. As sources deplete, the cost of buying them will increase so consumer prices will hike too. And on top of that – they release carbon dioxide which warms the planet and messes up our weather and natural habitats! Switching to a renewable energy supply is an easy way to do your bit for the planet.

2. Use your food waste bins

In Chelmsford, the City Council provides homes with food waste bins. People are encouraged to make sensible decisions to limit waste, but the food that ends up in the food waste bin is collected by the council. The contents are taken to a facility where the methane is captured and turned into bioenergy – one of the renewable energy sources that we can use for electricity. So making sure your leftovers are disposed of in the right way can have a positive contribution.

3. Make an electric car the goal

A Tesla showroom arriving in Chelmsford certainly increased the number of electric cars on the roads already. Whilst we may not all have the budget for an electric car right now, what we can do is make it a future ambition. If you know your car is going to need changing in the next few years, make it a long-term goal to go electric next time and start the planning now. Buying and running any car isn’t cheap, so the best thing you can do is make a plan for switching to electric when given the opportunity.

4. Plan for solar roof panels

Like the electric car goal, solar roof panels don’t need to be something you rush out and buy immediately. But you can make it a future house plan. Many companies offer payment plans so the cost can be spread over a number of years too. The Government also offers advice and support towards making energy-saving improvements to your home. Essex County Council is currently running a Solar Together Essex scheme, where solar panel consumers are brought together on a large scale to get the best price.

Below, watch Cllr Tom Willis, Climate Ambassador for Chelmsford City Council, talk with Love Your Chelmsford about how renewable energy is being created and used in Chelmsford. Plus, head over to the Love Your Chelmsford Facebook page to be in with the chance of winning one of three George Foreman electric BBQs in their latest competition.

Renewable Energy in Chelmsford from Love Your Chelmsford on Vimeo.

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