Top tips for energy saving as the clocks go back on Sunday October 29th

On Sunday October 29th at 2am the clocks go back, making mornings slightly lighter and evenings darker. Some will spend an extra hour in bed and others will get out and embrace the day but an interesting fact is that the whole concept of daylight saving was actually introduced in 1907 by the great-great-grandfather of Coldplay singer Chris Martin!

William Lillet published a pamphlet called ‘The Waste of Daylight’ in a bid to get people out of bed earlier by changing the nation’s clocks. Willett then spent the rest of his life trying to convince people his scheme was a good one. Sadly, he died of influenza in 1915 at the age of 58; a year before his clock-changing plan was adopted by the Germans and the UK in 1916. His great-great grandson, Chris Martin however has had huge success with smash hits ‘Clocks’ and ‘Daylight’ perhaps inspired by his forefather!

There are currently about 70 countries that participate in Daylight Saving Time, though not necessarily on the same schedule as Ireland. Ireland is located in the Greenwich Mean Time zone, sharing the same time as Great Britain, Iceland, Portugal, and some countries in northwest Africa. In Ireland, the maximum 17 hours of sunlight – on the longest day in June (the summer solstice) – dwindles to just seven hours and 30 minutes six months later in December (the winter solstice). As the clocks go back on October 29th and the evenings get darker we have some top energy saving tips from Solus:

1. There are still many homes in Ireland that have old incandescent light bulbs hiking up their energy costs; or stocks of them in the cupboard. The old bulbs are very wasteful as 90% of the electricity they use produces heat rather than light.

2. Turn the lights off when leaving a room and use “task” lighting rather than whole room lighting when only a small amount of light is required.
3. Most energy efficient light bulbs, such as Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs) and halogen light bulbs, are available in various configurations and although they cost more to purchase, they are far more energy efficient thus reducing electricity costs. For example, a CFL light bulb uses 80% less electricity than an equivalent incandescent light bulb and typically lasts eight to twelve times longer.
4. Replacing 3 x 100W incandescent light bulbs with CFLs using 3 hours of electricity per day can save an average household up to €43 per annum.
5. Outdoor decorative lights look great when lighting up trees or garden features. However, it might be worth considering only switching them on occasionally to help reduce your energy bill.