Work experience – a student’s perspective of home energy

This week, Alex Rostron of Rutlish School in Wimbledon spent the week with us to experience first hand how we are trying to improve the performance of homes across the country. We asked him to summarise some of the things that surprised him whilst he was here.

“I spent my week mostly with the RetrofitWorks team and there are a few things that have surprised me about the work that they do to reduce CO2 emissions in homes. One of the first things is that purchasing double glazing may be a waste of money, although people do not realise this. After buying double glazing, and then having it installed, the cost reduction in energy bills gives the homeowner a payback time of around 90 years. Another thing that surprised me was the adverse effects of using electricity instead of gas to warm your home. Using electricity is more expensive than gas and also emits as much as 3x more CO2. These are both things that every householder ought to know as it will save them from spending money unnecessarily.

Knowing what I have learnt here, when I return home I will be able to give some bits of advice to my parents that are simple and cost effective. One of the main ones would be to not leave as many devices on standby. For example, my Xbox is currently in fast start-up mode that means that it is always on standby, waiting to be fully turned on. I will likely switch it to eco-mode, taking longer to turn on initially but also saving a lot of electricity in the meantime. This can also be applied to items in my home like TVs and set-top boxes. Doing just this simple thing can help to reduce electricity used, reducing CO2 emissions.”

Alex Rostron, Work Experience Placement