Making green living easy

Green Living

We want to make a green lifestyle an easy choice for everyone, which starts with how we supply 100% green energy and ends with how you use energy in your day to day life. We've put together some tips that target the biggest carbon culprits for the average household. Making simple changes to things like how you power your home, what you have for dinner and how you get around can make a big difference.

Being green shouldn’t mean changing your lifestyle. Just making a few smart decisions can have a big impact on your personal carbon footprint.

Looking at how you heat your home or what car you drive can make a huge difference to your carbon footprint. The Energy Saving Trust looked at the biggest carbon culprits and found that heating, transport and diet are the areas in which most people can make the biggest difference.

The good news is there are some quick and easy ways to make a big green dent in your carbon emissions. Or if you want to go the extra mile, you can invest in green tech like heat pumps and electric vehicles, to wipe out your emissions all together. Take a look at our tips below for our guide to making greener living a possibility.

A graph showing the Energy Savings Trust breakdown of the average carbon output of a UK household. 31% of emissions come from heat, 27% from transport, 18% from agriculture and diet, 12% from aviation, 8% from power and 3% from waste.

Heating

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Easy & affordable

Staying cosy in winter is important, so when it’s cold, this can be a tough place to start when it comes to cutting down your emissions. The good news is that it could be easier than you think

Reduce your gas usage

The Energy Savings Trust has a great overview of small things that can have a big impact on your energy bills. We’ve also compiled some of our favourite tips from our Winter Workout challenge, which helped customers who cut their usage to save 12% on their gas bill on average.

Offset your gas emissions

For the gas you do use, you can offset your emissions by supporting carbon reduction projects around the world. With our SuperGreen tariff we’ll do this for you through our partner Renewable World, for just a few extra pounds a month.

Going the extra mile

The majority of UK homes still use natural gas for heating. Not only is it increasingly expensive to use, it emits toxic fumes that are the main contributor to climate change.

The only way to get rid of these emissions for good is to switch gas heating to an electric heating solution.

We’ve been doing our research into all the electric alternatives for heating your home, but there is one that just keeps coming out tops - the air source heat pump.

Switch to a heat pump

Unlike conventional electric heating, air source heat pumps take most of their energy from the air; a completely free, natural, abundant resource.

This makes them up to 75% more efficient to run than any other fossil fuel boiler and when powered by renewable power they are completely carbon free.

We’re so convinced that we’ve invested millions in our Electrification of Heat centre and have committed to train 1,000 installers of air source heat pumps. You can find out more about what we’re up to and if you like, register your interest for an Octopus heat pump here.

Getting around

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Easy & affordable

Across the UK, towns & cities are becoming better adapted for travel by foot & bicycle. With no energy needed apart from what you had for lunch, these will always be the most eco-friendly way to travel. For longer distances, public transport is the best option, with electric trains being the most planet-friendly.

However with most of us still needing our own vehicle to get around, we need to find a way to cut down these emissions. Just like with heating, the best solution is to go electric but if you’re not ready for that just yet, there are other ways to travel guilt free.

Offset your travel emissions

There are lots of apps to help you with this or if you’re an Octopus Energy customer you can now offset the carbon emissions from you road travel with our travel carbon calculator, available from your online account

Going the extra mile

Switch to an electric vehicle

Electric vehicles are not just more planet friendly, as they use electricity coming from an increasingly green grid, they’re pocket friendly and can lower your fuel costs to as little as £10 for 200 miles.

We offer a range of tariffs to help EV drivers charge with cheap, green energy, as well as home charging, charging on the go and we even lease electric vehicles to businesses through our sister company Octopus Electric Vehicles.

Power

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Easy & affordable

Just like with heat, the best place to start is by looking at the power you use and ways you can cut back, and looking for a green provider to make sure it comes from renewable sources.

Reduce your electricity usage

Here are our favourite tips to reduce your electricity usage and power carbon footprint without breaking the bank.

Get a smart meter
Smart meters give you access to information and cutting-edge smart energy tariffs that can reward you for cutting back or moving your energy consumption to the 'greenest' times of day.

Choose a green electricity tariff

This shouldn’t cost any more, but it means for every kWh of electricity you use, your supplier will invest in 1kWh green electricity generation, helping to transform our grid to a greener one.

All of Octopus Energy’s electricity tariffs are 100% green, so our customers can relax knowing they’ve done everything they can to reduce their power footprint.

Going the extra mile

Install solar PV

If you want to take this a step further, you could install solar PV to generate your own green power in your home, which you can either use to reduce your bills or export back to the grid to help them go greener, faster.

There are lots of great solar brands on our Works with Octopus programme, which work with our tariffs such as Outgoing Octopus to reward you for your solar export.

Food

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Easy and affordable

Save the meat for a treat

According to the Vegetarian Society, by cutting out meat for a year, you could save the same volume of carbon emissions as taking a small family car off the road for six months. But to make a difference you don’t have to go completely plant based; cutting down makes a huge difference too!

Vertical Farming

Believe it or not, one of the most advanced and efficient ways to grow veg sustainably is vertically! Powered by green electricity from custom smart tariffs, our vertical farm partners like LettUS Grow, are able to significantly reduce their energy costs, whilst growing local food in unlikely places. Read more about Octopus Energy Vertical Power here.

Choose food powered by green energy

Around a quarter of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food, so our diet certainly deserves a mention. To keep the impact of what you eat to a minimum, it’s a great idea to buy from growers and producers who choose to power their business with 100% green energy, such as Treflach Farm in Shropshire. Everything they sell is produced seasonally, with animal welfare and sustainability in mind.

Emissions created by transporting food are also a contributor to climate change, so we recommend eating local food whenever you can. Find a local producer near you.

Flying

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Easy and affordable

Flying is often the cheapest and fastest way to travel long distances, so in our busy lives it can be difficult to find an alternative. We wanted to provide an easier way to help our customers reduce the environmental impact of travelling, whether they’re exploring the world or heading to work. So we created the travel carbon calculator - a handy tool that makes it easy and affordable to offset the carbon emissions for your journeys.

Waste

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Food Waste

According to the Energy Saving Trust, around 8-10% of the world’s greenhouse gas emissions come from food waste. We throw away approximately 1.3 billion tonnes of food each year and as the food breaks down at landfill sites, it contributes to carbon emissions. From writing weekly meal plans to measuring out food portions, cutting down food waste can save you money as well as reducing carbon emissions.

Recycling

Around 18 million tonnes of CO2 can be saved per year by recycling. To minimise your carbon footprint, it’s great to recycle as much of your waste as you can. Recycle Now has some great tips on where and how you can recycle at home.

Published on 5th April 2022 by:

image of Gráinne Regan

Gráinne Regan

Electrification and Decarbonisation Lead

Hey I'm Constantine, welcome to Octopus Energy!

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