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What's this blog all about?

Hi, I'm Nicola - welcome to a blog about family travel around the world, without leaving the UK.
I love travel adventures, but to save cash and keep my family's carbon footprint lower, I dreamt up a unique stay-at-home travel experience. So far I've visited 110 countries... without leaving the UK. Join me exploring the next 86! Or have a look at the "countries" you can discover within the UK by scrolling the labels (below right). Here's to happy travel from our doorsteps. See www.nicolabaird.com for info about the seven books I've written, a link to my other blog on thrifty, creative childcare (homemadekids.wordpress.com) or to contact me.

Thursday, 1 October 2009

Energy journeys

Nicola, Pete, Lola and Nell love to travel but insist on keeping their carbon footprint down. Here's how (this post from Nicola)

Just been infuriated by feedback from some riding teaching I did back in July in which a dodgy old Yorkshire lady sounded off about my apparent lack of energy around eight-year-olds and four legged ponies. Funny how much I mind (never mind it not being true!) considering that the rest of my life is spent trying to be far more energy efficient.

And how well we feel we are doing - not just the travelling without planes or living without a car - but the way our end of terrace has been turned into a renewable power house. Since the solar PV was installed in summer 2008, we've generated 1,246kWh of electricity. Given our current summer usage, this is the equivalent of the sun gifting us 311 free leccy days. Nice eh?

It's not a simple calculation of course, as we're not off grid, but I am hoping to get a cheque for a decent amount from Good Energy (like the other 1,000+ renewable energy suppliers spread around the UK) before the end of this month.

At the moment I'm paying around 12p/kWh for using electricity, but expect to get 15p back for every sun-generated unit our panels clocked up. And next year this looks set to soar to 35p. Clearly being a low energy pioneer has a good cash side. Even if it marks you out for pony club disgrace.

Useful contacts for energy savers - to buy an energy metre, http://www.goodenergyshop.co.uk/, or to join the zillions of families trying to slash their energy use by 10 per cent each year see http://www.1010uk.org/.

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