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British Gas smart meter reviewer feedback thread. Non testers: Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for your DCs to be in with a chance of winning £100 worth of John Lewis vouchers NOW CLOSED

(116 Posts)

MNHQ have commented on this thread.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Tue 17-Sep-13 13:52:52

This thread is for the 3 Mumsnetters and 2 Mumsnet Bloggers who are testing the British Gas smart meters in their home.

Non testers: Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions? Do you think its something children should be taught about at school? Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?

Everyone who adds a comment to this thread by 18th October will be in with a chance of winning £100 worth of John Lewis vouchers

Testers: We'd like you to post at least 3 sets of feedback on this thread - once a month for 3 months.

Below are a few questions for you to answer but please also add any other comments you may have to the thread. You may want to answer some questions now and some at the end of the trial period.

General questions

- How did you find the installation of the smart meters? Was it any more or less complicated than you were expecting?
- What are your first impressions of being upgraded to smart meters and having a smart energy monitor?
- Has the smart energy monitor that comes with smart meters helped you keep track of your energy consumption?
- Has the smart energy monitor helped your children to understand/be more interested in energy? If so how?
- If it came up in conversation, would you recommend getting a smart meter upgrade with British Gas to your family/friends? If so why? If not why not?

Month 1: Finding the activities that use the most energy
This task is all about educating the future generations about the cost of energy wastage to both the environment and your household bills.
This month we'd like testers to try to discover which activities in your home use the most energy:

- Have each member of the family write down the 3 activities they think use the most energy in the home. What were these?
- Ask your children to guess how much gas or electricity they think each activity involves - please let us know what they said.
- Ask your children to turn on various domestic appliances in turn and record how much electricity is consumed and how much it actually costs by looking at the smart energy monitor. You can do the same for gas appliances, but it takes a bit longer (30 minutes - due to the way gas volume is measured and translated into kWh) for the figures to be displayed on the smart energy monitor.
- Which activity used the most energy? Did this surprise you? Will you and your family change how you use gas or electricity appliances in the future or not? If so, how? If not why not?

Thanks and good luck,

Katie @ MNHQ

manfalou Tue 17-Sep-13 20:08:43

Non Tester:

I think that creating a greener environment is something our children should learn about but in a very relaxed, innocent manor. Schools could make this a very fun topic through various activities instead of leaving the subject until secondary school when its all very serious and factual.

We don't discuss this with our children atm (they're only 5 months old and 3) but we have solar powered batteries etc that my eldest knows we charge our phones up on and we need to put it in the sun to work, plus we've taught him to turn lights off as he leaves the room and turn toys off he's not using to save power which is a step in the right direction.

I do think that the majority of people are making the environment greener, perhaps not purposefully, but because of the rising cost of things in general. I know I don't drive as much as I used to, we don't waste as much food and we recycle as much as possible. I believe that it is important to try and preserve the planet as it may be for the younger generations but we need to make it fun for them to understand and follow. Getting them interested in the subject is what is going to be the future of our greener planet.

sharond101 Tue 17-Sep-13 22:05:32

Ds is only 16mo so too young to understand but with DH in a job which considers energy waste it will be something we discuss with him when he is older and of course encourage him to be energy efficient. I believe it should be in the school curriculum as not all parents will know enough to tell their children about it.

gazzalw Wed 18-Sep-13 09:51:19

Non-tester: I think it is incredibly important to be teaching the next generation about everything to do with saving power. DD has 'eco warriors' at school and is generally quite good at saving energy whereas DS (12) tends to leave everything on 'stand-by' if indeed he can be bothered to do that. DW is obsessive about not leaving energy-guzzling gadgets on (comes from having a father with an OCD about turning stuff off!) and goes around the house in a flurry checking that things haven't been left on stand-by.

I do think though that financial implications aside, it is very difficult for the children of now to understand quite how their careless habits might impact adversely on energy availability in years to come.

We grew up with miners strikes and three day weeks and homes lit by candle-light. This generation of youngsters knows nothing about not having energy on tap 24/7.

Yes, I do think it's every bit as important a part of children's education as PHSE and Citizenship. It really taps into a lot of areas of the curriculum including the-soon-to-be-obligatory financial education lessons.

Spirael Wed 18-Sep-13 10:02:15

Non Tester.

The best way to help create a greener environment for the DC is to start young with them, working together towards a greener environment as they grow up. It'll hopefully then just become second nature to everyone.

Things like turning off lights/appliances when not needed, wrapping up warm instead of relying on central heating, recycling where possible, not creating more waste than needed, changing to energy saving bulbs, adding simple insulation, etc. All stuff you can do at home without considerable lifestyle changes. Some things can even be made into a game!

If they're interested and when they get a bit older, you could then get involved in further projects. Things like planting trees, creating a home solar/wind powered battery, etc.

DifferentNow Wed 18-Sep-13 10:40:12

Non tester

Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions? Do you think its something children should be taught about at school? Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?

I think it's an extremely important topic for children to be educated on. I'm amazed and delighted at how much they already know and understand about this subject and we discuss it regularly at home. It's an easy concept for children to grasp because lots of the lessons they learn follow the pattern of, 'if you do X, Y might happen, what could we do differently?'.

InkleWinkle Wed 18-Sep-13 13:16:05

Just marking my place on this thread so I can find it.
SMART meters installed yesterday & I am obsessed with them. (and ever so slightly worried about the winter!)

HALA Wed 18-Sep-13 13:44:13

non tester

I think its important to teach your children never to throw their rubbish on the roadside. Also, to recycle everything that they use, and last but not least, to walk everywhere whenever its possible.

dahville Wed 18-Sep-13 14:51:41

Non Tester

Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions?
Yes, it is important to educate our kids about these things, they need to be educated in an atmosphere where the problems and challenges are acknowledged. They need to be challenged to feel a responsibility to do something about this (as we should as well!)

Do you think its something children should be taught about at school?
Yes, they should be taught the science of it and the impact of decisions that have been/could be made.

Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?
We will do when he old enough. Right now we are just teaching him to respect nature and not litter!

MadMonkeys Wed 18-Sep-13 17:45:24

Non tester

Yes, I think it is important to educate our children about environmental matters. I talk to my 3.8mo about not wasting energy, not leaving litter behind, recycling etc. I think economic pressures will encourage some aspects of environmental awareness anyway, like the need for more sustainable energy sources etc.

Lent1l Thu 19-Sep-13 14:41:19

Non-tester: I've always been concerned about the energy we use. My DD is only 18 months so not yet old enough to be taught about energy consumption however, as she grows up she will notice that in our house you put a jumper on if you are cold, not turn up the heating. Taps are turned off when not in use (such as not leaving them running when brushing teeth), bath water can be recycled to water plants, the kettle is only filled as much as necessary. These are things I was taught and she will be taught as she gets older so they become second nature.

Whilst I agree that some of this can be taught in schools the fundamental points start at home.

Hopezibah Thu 19-Sep-13 20:41:21

non tester. We have always talked with our kids about greener living but tried to do it in a way that they might be able to relate too. eg. that we want the polar bears and penguins to still have ice caps to live on in the future and if we leave the lights on / fridge door open / don't recycle etc then that affects more people and animals and the planet more than we can imagine.

The kids also help with things like sorting paper / cardboard / plastic and help 'post' things in the recycling bank so they see that it is fun rather than a chore.

Showing my children the gas and electric meters and the numbers going up also helped make it real for them as I explained that it costs more money too (not just bad for the planet but bad for them as less money to spend on Christmas presents) and that seemed to help them understand too!

Bubbles85 Thu 19-Sep-13 21:41:15

Education about energy waste is very important and I do believe that this should form part of the school curriculum.

poopoopoo Fri 20-Sep-13 10:59:14

Installation was quick and simple and the lady who came to do it was friendly and helpful. The children were interested when they saw the screen showing how much energy we are using, it made it more obvious why we should turn off the lights and TV when they are not needed. It is helping us keep track of the energy we are using and we are trying harder not to waste energy to help the environment. If it came up in conversation I would recommend a smart meter.

poopoopoo Fri 20-Sep-13 11:13:09

Month 1: Finding the activities that use the most energy

- the 3 activities we thought use the most energy in the home.
Me: Tumble dryer, Hair dryer, Lights
Daughter (age 6) : TV, Lights, Cooker
Son (age 4) : TV, Cooker, Computer

- Ask your children to guess how much gas or electricity they think each activity involves - please let us know what they said.
They were confused by this question, so I asked how much money do you think it is costing, but we did look at the kW/h. They actually did not realise you are paying for what you use. 'ooh thats lots every day'

*- Ask your children to turn on various domestic appliances*: again we did this in £/hr. We found the amount went up as follows
0.11 with dishwasher, computer and 6 lights
0.36 when I turned on the washing machine
then variable from
0.62-
0.92 with the tumble dryer on!

- Which activity used the most energy?
The tumble dryer!!! ( I was right!) mother knows best ;)

Did this surprise you? therefore No.

Will you and your family change how you use gas or electricity appliances in the future or not?
Yes I will be more careful with the tumble dryer and only use it when really necessary. Also we have decided to make the best use of the oven when it is on and cook food to be eaten during the week; for example we put two chickens in when roasting at the weekend so we have a meal ready to eat for monday night. though I need to check on what the microwave is consuming!!!

Littlecherublegs Fri 20-Sep-13 15:51:04

My DS is only a year old so obviously way too young to understand about the environment etc. However, he knows where the recycling bin is and will put things in it if I ask him (too cute!).

Plus I always ensure lights / TV / radio etc., are turned off if we leave the room and try not to leave things on standby etc.

Having used a SMART meter before, I was surprised to find the electric shower was one of the most energy demanding things in the home - so I try to keep my showers brief now!
The iron was a big one too - great excuse for going creased!! wink

Snog Fri 20-Sep-13 15:55:43

I think the most important thing is to live within cycling or walking distance of 90% of stuff you need ie close to work/school!

Non tester. But a confused person who as tried to use British Gas....

It is a shame that a device that is such a good tool to show us the direct relation between leaving the lights on, tv, computers on standby rather than off, and how much it cost to tumble dry your clothes is so expensive.

£250 for the device, quoted to me by a local plumber who came to quote for my new boiler.

The British Gas person who came out to give me a quote, has managed to confuse me thoroughly by talking about loft insulation, cavity wall insulation, Green Deal, free smart meter, hydro flow requirements, all to the tune of 4k, but dont worry, British Gas will give you your cavity wall insulation for free, and your loft insulation, when you sign up with Green deal and pay it back at £73 per month over 10 years. Simples!

Not so simples. I was told I would get a call from British Gas about switching my dual fuel to them and get £150 cashback.

The person who called me could not give me a quote for switching based on knowing my current kw per hour deal with current supplier (perhaps he could not beat it?). Not possible to tell me if he could save me money based on my current rates, he would need to know how much I had actually paid. I am on a standing order deal, so he said Sorry cant help. hmm

I was told I would get a call back about Cavity wall insulation and loft insulation. The person who called me back told me I could possibly not get the Green Deal unless I am a benefits recipient. Would I anyway buy a Green Deal survey? £150 only! He could swipe my card there and then and send somebody out, no problem!
Erm, why would I do that when you have just told me I cant have the Green deal because I am not on benefits? So, he agreed that I should just have the free cavity wall survey for now.

So, the inspector came out. £450 for the work, done internally, so would have drilling holes everywhere. Unless I wanted to pay £800 for scaffolding. So, total £1250. He said "It is a shame you did not do this last year, when it was totally free for everybody, but there you go!"

Not quite sure where my free cavity wall insulation and loft insulation went. But it is sure as heck not Free from British Gas like the sales person who came to quote me my boiler said.

My quote then, as it stands, is 4 k, and includes Green Deal survey, Cavity wall insulation (which I have to pay extra for as I cant have Green Deal. Loft Insulation (which I wont be offered unless I pay for a Green Deal survey which there is no point having as I dont qualify) So what am I paying 4 k for? A Worcester Bosch boiler, at almost £1000, a Free smart meter, Hydro Flow, installations costs for 3k it would seem.

So, to look at these numbers. 1k deposit, and nothing more. 3k repaid by paying £73 per month for 10 years. This is 8760k! My new boiler will be paid off in 10 years, and will cost me a total of 9760.

Plus the cost of the cavity wall insulation. And loft insulation, should I decide to find a supplier to get a quote from on my own....

Having a quote from British Gas has resulted in 3 new people all telling me different things, I have so far dealt with 4 people, not a thing has been done, and all the work has become more and more expensive witch each person.

Will I use British Gas! Hell no!

I think I am going to use my local plumber.

katiewalters Fri 20-Sep-13 16:27:12

I think it's important for our little news to learn about a greener environment, which should be done at school and at home. I talk to my son about switching things off when we're not using them, now he knows to always turn the light off when he's leaving his bedroom, bathroom etc. I talk to him about recycling, and he helps me sort the rubbish into the correct recycling bins.

ouryve Fri 20-Sep-13 16:37:43

Non-tester. It's a no brainer that we should think about the environment and our energy resources in the longer term, way beyond our lifespan. I believe in buying well to buy once, but as consumers, our choices tend to be restricted, in this respect. I have clothes over a decade old, made from good quality fabrics, using natural fibres, which are still in good condition. It's a struggle to find anything that doesn't contain polyester, acrylic or nylon, these days - all of which use up oil resources. On top of that, clothes just don't last a decade, any more, because of the cheap fabrics they're made from.

Turnipvontrapp Fri 20-Sep-13 17:45:49

Non tester

Yes I think it is very important to talk about this and talk to my boys quite a bit about not wasting resources/ energy/ water/ food.

nextphase Fri 20-Sep-13 17:57:04

Two small people here, who sort of understand that the rubbish goes to make electricity - we drive past the incinerator, but that if we make too much it needs to go into a hole in the ground, which isn't good.

They also ask why we drive to tesco, yet walk to the park, which is next door. So they are starting to understand walking/biking where you can.

We need to keep up with things - I'm horrified by my generation who won't recycle, or dive 0.25 mile. We need the next generation to do what they can to protect the planet and its resources.

I remember learning about acid rain and the greenhouse effect when I was at school and I am 37 now so it's nothing new and of course our children should be taught all of this. Our children know the importance of reduce, reuse and recycle and we try to lead by example

MikeLitoris Fri 20-Sep-13 18:52:35

I agree that education needs to start young. We are a very energy efficient family and it something that we drum into the dc.

The amount of people that know nothing at all about their utilities is staggering to me. Even people that pay thousands of pounds on solar pv are clueless to how it actually works.

gingercat12 Fri 20-Sep-13 20:03:51

Non-tester

As a member of the generation who was brought up during the 1970s oil crisis, I try to instil strict energy efficiency ethics into my LO. He knows he needs to switch off the lights, but finds hard it hard to turn the tap off (because it is automatic in school). Recycling together is great fun. He even has his own recycling bins (little boxes) in his room, where he collects stuff and we are not allowed to throw them out confused

littlemonkeychops Fri 20-Sep-13 20:48:47

Yes of course it's important to educate (but as others have said environmental issues are taught at school already).

DD is only 2 so a bit young to understand why we recycle, etc, but we're teaching her by example and she loves helping put bottles in the bottle bank etc.

GetKnitted Fri 20-Sep-13 21:21:34

if nothing else, educating children about conservation and waste is a good lesson in economy.

maxmissie Fri 20-Sep-13 22:08:19

Non tester:

Very important to educate them on this, discuss it and bring them up to think it's the norm rather than having to adjust to it like most generations have been doing. At the moment as they are four and six the main things we encourage them to do are turn off the taps when brushing teeth, recycling, turning off lights, that we don't use the car to go everywhere, not to waste food etc. Yes I think it should be taught at school but also just incorporated into daily school life as it is at home (recycling etc) rather than just discussing it in a lesson.

kateandme Fri 20-Sep-13 22:34:34

i think it is very important.pehaps how they grow up thinking can change our planets future.who knows what they might come up with to help if they start learning early.
making it fun helps.recycling can be very fun especially for the young.
showing them beautiful places.taking them for walks in nature and around species that might be impacted if we dont look after the world.
having a fun candlelit evening can be vry rwearding.telling them why and then having the evening meal round the candles and then a game do they can see what its like without the elctricals and how effective it could be yo yhr world.it also teaches them how lucky they are as in the past this is how people lived.the more time that passes the more years there are between when there wasnt all the resources that we have now.
our elder relatives lived in the times when ceritna electircals and resources weren around.but now our own children.they dont leanr much of that becasue it gets longer and longer ago.

Cherrygrape Sat 21-Sep-13 07:05:09

I think its important, to be aware of it and do what we can personally do to improve things. I think it should be taught in schools at some point. I worked in a primary school where it was taught at a simple level. Its great to be taught at school but I think it would have a greater effect if taught by parents, because it would be incorporated into daily life better. Walking/ cycling to school, energy saving light bulbs at home, turning things off at the plug, recycling, using less water, etc are all things parents can help make into habit for a child. My dd is too young to discuss it yet.

lottytheladybird Sat 21-Sep-13 09:21:14

Non tester

I'd like to see much less packaging on items which are solely added to make the item look more expensive.

Also, why do cucumbers have to sold in cellophane in supermarkets? Such a waste of plastic.

Anyway, less packaging would go some way to making the environment greener for our children, I think.

bealos Sat 21-Sep-13 09:50:15

I think our children are taught about the environment from primary age. My 7year old son seems to know lots about recycling, not wasting water, etc.

We talk about it at home too - he knows why we use cloth nappies for our baby, why we shouldn't leave the tap running or leave lights on, and why eating local or growing your own food is good.

It's about bringing all these discussions into the day to day, rather than it being a purely class room experience.

NotAFeminist Sat 21-Sep-13 11:30:58

Non Tester: My LO is not yet 1 so I haven't quite broached the subject of protecting the environment with him just yet! However, I do feel it important to teach children whilst they are young, and as they grow older, the importance of looking after the planet and not wasting resources. I am an avid recycler in our home and usually find a secondary use for EVERYTHING which is something I'd like to pass on to my son.

I agree with Manfalou that it should be taught in a fun, interesting, engaging manner to younger children at school and not how we see it as grownups on the news with the hysteria of 'we're going to run out of resources in 2 years and then we're all going to die!' etc etc. (Slight exaggeration!) In our home, we are very mindful of the water, energy and gas we use and make sure we don't use more than we need. We neither of us drive and walk/use public transport to get around. I would love to see our country one day be nearly entirely dependent on the likes of solar, wind and tidal energy, despite the ''''visual pollution'''' that wind farms may cause!

All we can do is try our best and do our bit for the environment and teach our children to do the same and set a good example. Our children are the future so we should invest in educating them.

skyeskyeskye Sat 21-Sep-13 14:01:45

DD is 5. She helps me to recycle by putting cardboard in the green tub. She understands that she mustnt leave on lights, or leave the tap running.

she also understands that she mustn't throw rubbish on the floor and that it is better to buy penny sweets in a paper bag than to buy sweets in plastic wrappers.

I think that school should educate them and DD's school does. They have an eco section and they grow their own veg and discuss packaging etc.

AllSWornOut Sat 21-Sep-13 16:05:09

I agree with all those who daddy it just needs to be taught at school in an organic manner. As DC1's school they have pupils in charge of collecting recyclable rubbish and putting it into the right bins. It needs to be something you just do, naturally, rather than thinking, "Oh, I'm doing this to be less wasteful."

However parents/families must play a role in building good day-to-day habits.

loopyloou Sat 21-Sep-13 18:08:57

Non-tester here:

"Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions? Do you think its something children should be taught about at school? Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?"

I think it's extremely important to educate future generations about energy waste and carbon emissions. They are after all the future and we cannot afford to go on wasting energy the way we have. Children should definitely be taught about this at school, just as they also should be taught not to litter. We often discuss such matters at home and I take it for granted that my daughter is aware that energy should be conserved at all times. It doesn't stop her leaving her bedside light on at night though sad but she is aware that we use energy saving bulbs and that lights should be turned off when leaving a room, heating kept turned down and doors closed when possible to keep heat in. We have also spoken about not leaving car engines running when not required.

Non tester: I think it's critical. I hope and expect that our children's generation will be even more committed than we are. I do think that school plays a part in this, in reinforcing the messages we are giving at home about reducing waste and being responsible with what we buy and how we recycle.

newfashionedmum Sun 22-Sep-13 17:23:03

really important. Leading by example is the best way for them to learn. think we tried a bit too hard with our daughter, she gets up in the middle of the night to check we've switched everything off!

whattodoo Sun 22-Sep-13 20:35:59

Non tester -
its pretty easy to teach children about environmental concerns while they're young. Our DD is 5 and has seen us turning the tap of while brushing teeth (for example) and after our explanation why, she takes it as the norm.
Yes, these issues should be discussed in school, and at home they should be led by example.

OddSockMonster Tue 24-Sep-13 16:50:17

Tester - meter's getting installed this weekend so will give proper feedback after that, but we reckon (without looking at the rest of the thread) our main uses will be:

DH thinks electric shower, washer-drier doing the washing, and kettle

I think washer-drier on tumble dry mode, oven and the kettle

DS1 (7) thinks microwave, lights and lego star wars

DS2 (3) thinks dishwasher, telephone and fridge

Should be interesting, especially how we change any behaviour as we consider ourselves fairly energy conscious.

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Wed 25-Sep-13 13:33:30

Thanks for all your comments so far.

QuintessentialShadows, British Gas have asked for this comment to be posted in responses to your post:

"I’m sorry to hear your experience with British Gas has left you confused and frustrated.

When you mention smart meters you point out that: “It is a shame that a device that is such a good tool to show us the direct relation between leaving the lights on, tv, computers on standby rather than off, and how much it cost to tumble dry your clothes is so expensive. £250 for the device, quoted to me by a local plumber who came to quote for my new boiler”. I would like to confirm that smart meters are installed free of charge to our dual-fuel energy customers, as we’re rolling-them out as part of a free nationwide upgrade, mandated by the UK Government. The same goes for the smart energy monitor showing your gas and electricity use in pounds & pence, and that is offered at point of installation. No supplier can charge customers for replacing current meters with smart meters.

Please let us have your details through the Mumsnet network and I’ll make sure one of our Senior Energy Advisers gets in touch with you to chat through any questions you might have and provide assistance to help you make informed choices about your Green Deal options.

For more information on smart meters please watch this short video: www.youtube.com/watch?v=f8ySwiV3Q-0

Dana – British Gas Smart Metering"

Please PM me if you'd like someone to contact you.

asuwere Fri 27-Sep-13 18:56:47

Non-tester.
I do feel that children should be brought of knowing about responsibility for the environment they live in. I don't necessarily speak about 'being green' but my kids are brought up knowing that recycling is normal and to switch things off that aren't being used etc. I also try to teach them the monetary cost of electricity and running a car etc so they are put off wasting. We also speak about how walking is better for them as well as the environment rather than driving.

These things should be in school as well and then it just becomes part of normal life and not something they need to think about.

GoingGoingGoth Fri 27-Sep-13 19:21:34

Non-tester:
The environment is an important part of our life style. DD (8) was only grumbling at me this morning about how many people drop litter. We have tried not to address the issues with her as being 'green' but just as part of a normal lifestyle.

We discuss where our food comes from, and how we should appreciate the work that goes into it and how much it costs, and therefore why we should waste any but only buy what we need and can use.

She is aware that humans are part of the environment, and that what we do has an effect. We only have a shared garden, but we do have a windowsill, so we try to cram as much on it as possible, bulbs, flowers, salad, tomatoes and even a butternut squash this year. We try to grow flowers to encourage bees, and we feed the birds.

We spend as much time as possible in the local park, and now DD cycles we try to cycle to as many places as possible.

We try to be as energy efficient as possible, as she's knows to put a jumper on first rather than turn the heating up. DM always has the mantra 'it's not green, it's mean!' grin

Theincidental Fri 27-Sep-13 20:00:27

A greener environment is one of the most important things we can educate our children on. Reliance on fossil fuels is doomed and damage to our environment is getting greater and greater.

We are destroying our Eco system and it's getting very late to still be arguing about it.

I don't think energy companies or the government are doing enough, so it is even more important to teach children so they can push through a generation of people who will act.

I do teach my son about not being wasteful, recycling and reusing and try to consume as little as possible.

We grow some of our food and recycle a lot.

Ds' nursery are very good on green issues with their own renewable technology (which they teach the children about) and a forest school.

Trills Sat 28-Sep-13 11:38:18

I definitely think that "looking after the environment" is something that children should be taught about, but children are wont to get a bit overly literal and fundamentalist about things, so it needs to be done in a more careful and gentle way than the way in which they are taught about healthy eating.

Daddy you just killed a penguin because you put that in the wrong bin
I can't have that, it's BAD food

poachedeggs Sat 28-Sep-13 21:29:08

how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions?

Really important - it needs to be part of everyone's consciousness.

Do you think its something children should be taught about at school?

Yes, definitely. Children can exert a lot of pressure on parents to live more greenly. I also think this is something which will affect future generations in terms of their careers so they need to be aware of these issues at an early age.

Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?

We don't make a point of it but we do talk about why we do certain things, what the pros and cons are of things, for example why it's better to take a train than drive, or why we need to switch off lights.

starfishmummy Tue 01-Oct-13 15:42:08

Non tester.

I think it is important to educate our children into becoming "greener". I try to lead by example so that my son sees the things I do and will just think they are normal and so Jeremy will continue to do them. It doesn't have to be something big because the small things matter.

I used to he a school governor and through my own interests introduced his special needs school to the "Eco Schools Project". This was embraced by staff and pupils alike - a lot of it was "baby steps" but hopefully making a difference and things the students will continue to do.

bluebump Tue 01-Oct-13 17:54:38

Non tester:

I think it's very important to educate and encourage our children into being greener. It's something that can be taught and put into practice at home and in school.

At home my 5 year old is aware of recycling, switching off lights, turning off taps and keeping doors closed in rooms to keep the heat in etc.

OddSockMonster Tue 01-Oct-13 18:35:12

Right, Feedback...

The electricity meter installation went fine, it was quick and the engineer was very polite and chatty. From the user point of view, the meter display unit is very straightforward to use and understand. I've tapped it out of curiosity quite a few times, as well as specifically for this challenge, and it's been interesting seeing the difference on days when the whole family is at home compared to school days.

The gas meter hasn't been installed yet as it needs a stand-alone regulator (must write that down now before I completely forget), and the engineer used his a couple of days previously; like buses, he hasn't needed one in ages and then two come along in two days. Am waiting to hear back from BG but can give them a call, KatieBMumsnet does it need to be in place for next month's challenge?

The monitor itself hasn't been that interesting to the DSs, though might be more so when we get enough data to use the graphs on the history function. They have been interested in what uses hardly any electricity at all compared to what uses loads.

If it came up in conversation, I don't know yet if I'd recommend one - it's interesting but I don't know if it'll actually reduce our energy use.

Month 1 Challenge

We turned on various appliances and this is what we found (all in kW):
Dishwasher: variable - short peak of 2.86 when heating water, 0.2ish for most of the cycle
Kettle: 2.33
Oven: 2.06 (while heating up, 0.02 when temperature reached)
Microwave: 1.32
All the lights in the house turned on at once: 0.337
Lego Star Wars (TV & Wii): 0.077
Background (fridge & meter): 0.012

Not very surprised over all as we thought it would take most energy heating things (especially water). I was surprised how much the oven uses though, I thought that would be lower. The boys were glad the TV & Wii don't take that much.

How will we change our usage - I intend to clean the oven door so we can look through rather than opening it to see if food is done. And will double up use of the oven, e.g. for baking sausage rolls at the same time as doing a roast. I'll probably use the microwave a bit more too.

xxxkadzxxx Tue 01-Oct-13 22:26:21

I think it should be taught in schools and i think children should learn about it at an early age so it becomes a way of life and natural to them, like a habit.
I do talk to my children and try to explain it to them to teach them how to be greener and understand the importance of it. Although, its very difficult as i dont think their school enforces it as much as they could/should so i feel like i am hitting a brick wall and worry that they will think i am nagging at them when they dont recycle their rubbish, turn the TV off, turn taps and lights off etc when they see their teachers and friends doing it and getting away with it!
I do try to pick them up on it everytime as they do know but tend to forget... but not half as much as my bad influence fiancee!

VerySmallSqueak Tue 01-Oct-13 22:30:31

I think our children should be brought up to question whether we should be trying to meet our energy requirements,by means such as fracking and nuclear,or whether we should be simply trying to reduce our energy requirements.
It really is that fundamental.

SaltySeaBird Thu 03-Oct-13 09:12:22

Non testers: Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions? Do you think its something children should be taught about at school? Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?

I think it is very important to teach our children about creating a greener environment, which includes energy waste and carbon emissions. My DD is too young but it is something I will discuss with her as part of everyday life.

Then again, a lot aspects about creating a greener environment will be part of her everyday life. We have numerous different recycle bins (something I didn't have growing up), we make an active decision to walk on short journeys rather than take the car and we don't leave electrical things on / taps running etc.

I think it should be taught in schools as part of learning on energy in general.

CMOTDibbler Thu 03-Oct-13 10:00:19

Non tester - I try to make ds think about our use and waste of resources in our everyday life, and he's pretty good. Though his idea of what is a reasonable bike ride is slightly further than mine (and further than he could ride on the road yet!)

poorbutrich Thu 03-Oct-13 17:28:57

Non tester here!

It is vital that children are taught to be as green as possible - it's good for them as well as being essential for the future of the planet.

My son isn't yet two but we're trying to bring him up to have as little impact on the planet as possible.

Rather than recycling, we don't buy disposable items or purchase more than we need. We've got to the point where seeing people buy meaningless gibber (such as the woman I saw buying 20 Easter eggs a few months ago) and putting it into carrier bags from the supermarket (rather than simply bringing your own) is becoming sickening and unsustainable. We've sectioned off part of the garden which is for DS to grow vegetables. He already understands that this is his and loves looking at the vegetables and (over!)watering them!

He has his own trike and a seat on my bike so we don't use the car unless necessary and most of his toys and clothes come from other family members or boot sales.

I really hope this doesn't sound annoying or that he is being deprived of anything - we'd rather live like this by choice rather than find in a couple of years that such things as landfill and oil are rationed.

janekirk Thu 03-Oct-13 17:38:02

My little ones teach me as much as I teach them about the environment and recycling. We do our bit in order to improve things, but I do worry that Governments will always put money first.

csmony Thu 03-Oct-13 17:53:46

Non tester

Yes I think it's absolutely essential to create greener environment and this should be taught as a part of curriculum in schools too.

I have taught my 4 year old about importance of recycling and had touched a bit on subject of global enviourment in story time.

I used to have discussions with older children of my friends about importance of sustainability and quite amazed by their interest in this subject.

Greener the environment ,brighter the future,let's work together for it

helcrai Thu 03-Oct-13 19:37:04

Non-Tester

Must admit it is not something that I bother to talk to my kids about, but I think it is important that they have informed views from both sides about the green issues. Schools should play a big part in Educating them from an early age. My kids take part in a "walk to school" scheme to reduce carbon emissions and they have set up an Eco Council which gets involved in recycling and reducing waste in the school.
Personally I think there are still some questions to be answered about the causes of global warming and this side of the coin should be explored too. However it surely can be no bad thing to keep our planet clean and green, whether it has a long term effect or not and this is the message I hope my children will learn for their future.

daisybrown Thu 03-Oct-13 22:41:36

We try to lead by example. Although we do get a few grumbles about cutting out short car journeys! Schools seem to be more tuned in to environmental issues nowadays, recycling and the outdoors being two points which spring to mind. We enjoy many comforts by living within a capitalist system but does a capitalist system really care about environmental issues?

stephgr Fri 04-Oct-13 03:51:38

Non tester. I do think it's essential we try to create a greener environment and children should be taught at school about energy waste and carbon emissions. I discuss it with my children and saving energy and protecting the environment is something they want to do. When I was a child in the 70s and 80s I had very little knowledge about protecting the environment but my children and their friends seem to know so much.

Tammylucy Fri 04-Oct-13 17:43:43

I think that all the children should be educated about using energy wiser. We should educate them that in a country that the temparatures in the summer do not go higher than 30 degrees there is no need to use air conditioning in every shop and every building. We should teach them to think about all the people in countries like Africa and India that suffer of extreme heat conditions.

poopoopoo Fri 04-Oct-13 19:33:19

Hi all at Mumsnet, What is the challenge for month 2?

Igmum Fri 04-Oct-13 21:08:19

Agree with gingercat - I'm trying to teach my DD to wear a cardigan when it gets cold rather than wandering round in T-shirts, we recycle and re-use.

BadlyWrittenPoem Fri 04-Oct-13 21:37:36

Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions? Do you think its something children should be taught about at school? Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?

I think that children should be taught not to waste things generally - not just energy/fossil fuels although obviously with fossil fuels being a finite resource it does make it particularly important not to waste them. I'm not sure whether it should be considered the responsibility of schools - it seems like something that comes under a parent's responsibility. I discuss not wasting things with my child.

peronel Sat 05-Oct-13 06:42:59

Non-tester.
Walk or cycle as much as possible.
Encourage a healthy respect and understanding of the environment by growing your own fruit and veg as much as possible. Give the kids their own plots and/or get them to help with yours. As well as getting them outdoors this means you can grow organic produce much more cheaply, encourage them to eat more vegetablesgrin - and reduce air miles to zero. What's not to like?

ataraxia Sat 05-Oct-13 12:10:49

Non tester - Kids should be educated about energy saving but not necessarily about carbon emissions per se (except in science) or even future environmental impact but present consequences, including money saving!

cluttered Sat 05-Oct-13 16:25:08

Non tester:
Yes I definitely think that it's important for the next generation to know about this and I am trying to do my bit. DS2 is really on board with turning everything off and knows that standby is not the same as turing off at the wall, teenaged DS1 is less bothered about the environment but goes along with it purely because he realises that less money on fuel bills means more money in the budget for fun stuff (probably not the most environmentally friendly message).

However, I am a bit hampered by DP's attitude that it's uptight to always be turning stuff off. He grew up in a home where it was expected to be able to walk around in short sleeves during the winter, whereas I believe you should put a jumper on if you're cold and not turn the heating up. Also my DSis works in a very environmentally unfriendly industry and is really sceptical about global warming, the importance of reducing our footprint etc. Hence it is important that kids learn the true facts in school otherwise they may see it as merely a matter of opinion.

ChocolateMama Sat 05-Oct-13 19:08:08

Non-Tester

I always get the children to switch lights and things off when they are not in use. They are pretty good and always say, "Yes, because it is a waste and bad for the environment isn't it?" We also re-cycle as much as possible and again, it is the norm for them and they always put things to one side to go in the recycling.

I think the schools are pretty good to be honest. At my children's school they talk about the environment a lot and the children understand that things should be re-used if possible and re-cycled.

Punkatheart Sun 06-Oct-13 23:05:15

I have heard of a school called The Willow School that uses green values throughout - even in the design of their school. This sounds the way all schools should be going. The next generation will be so much more savvy.

Willemdefoeismine Tue 08-Oct-13 10:30:03

Non testers: Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions? Do you think its something children should be taught about at school? Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?

I think our generation is the first to truly embrace it. I've certainly gone from being unaware as a teen to a total 'green' fanatic as an adult and particularly since becoming a parent. DP and I do everything possible to be 'green' although we possibly are a bit over-reliant on 'technology' to be totally green hmm - I wonder how 'green' Tom and Barbara from the Good Life would have been in the 21st Century?

Both DCs have been eco-warriors at school and loved the role but I have to say that they are less good at home. They often need reminding to turn off lights, turn off plugs at the wall rather than using stand-by etc....

They are, however, pretty good Wombles with recycling, putting litter in bins etc.....DP always puts extraneous litter in bins as we are walking along and he sees it - I am however rather less keen at the children following his example with strangers' litter.

We also are a car-free family so are majorly green in that respect. Again though I think the children would prefer us to be less so!

I think it is important to assimilate 'green' behaviour into every day life so it is a habit rather than a chore particularly where the children are concerned.

It will be interesting to see if our children's generation are more 'green' savvy though....I think our parents were in their behaviour, but more thro' thrift and the austerity of WW2 and the following decade, than from an awareness of the need to sustain a greener environment. I guess maybe our generation has embraced it so readily/easily because most of us were brought up by parents who practised 'green behaviour' unknowingly!

spicers1976 Tue 08-Oct-13 20:09:52

Tester:

We had our meter installed on 21st August. Had a very friendly engineer who explained everything he was doing, and why he was doing it. He was in the property for just under two hours, during which some points we lost power and were advised to turn off any sockets such as the sky box to avoid loss of data through power failure. This seemed to be easier for the customer than I think I was expecting.

He didn't leave me a manual for the smart meter, but it looked very straight forward to use. I did wonder why the meter says "for illustration only" against the costs on the electric section of the meter, but I have been told it's fine.

Our first couple of months and I have been noticing looking at the meter often and seeing which appliances uses more electric than others.
I like being able to see the meter rise and fall in the graph of what uses less and more. It helps to remind me to turn the plugs off at the wall.

Month 1 challenge:

Three activities from my six year old daughter that she thought would use a lot of electric

- cooking dinner
- watching TV
- playing the computer

(well you can see her train of thought there can't you)!

We did test out a variety of activities, turning appliances on and watching to see what the meter did. I think this was a good activity for a small child as she is starting to see the spikes on the graph and realises that unfortunately watching TV doesn't eat the electric, but yet cooking her porridge in the morning, will use more.

My older daughter (18) thought her hair straighteners would use more electric, as well as the hair dryer and laptop.

She was right on the hair dryer and straighteners, so I hope this convinces her to turn things off when she has finished with them now.

RubySparks Thu 10-Oct-13 21:12:38

Non tester - yes children should learn about their environment and how to take care of it, both at home and at school. I was in high school when I read Silent Spring by Rachel Carson which was chilling reading and made a huge impact on me.

My kids are teens now and do jobs around the house which include emptying bins and taking out recycling. It is as much about a whole attitude to consumerism though, we really don't need all this stuff, less packaging would mean less need for recycling.

It is all just common sense to me, why wouldn't you look after your environment?

IncaAztec Fri 11-Oct-13 14:34:53

Non testers: Share your thoughts on creating a greener environment for the next generation how important or not, do you think it is to educated younger generations on energy waste and carbon emissions?

Yes, but baring in mind some of the controversy surrounding climate change science - what is good for the earth today, might be bad for the earth tomorrow...

Do you think its something children should be taught about at school? Is it a topic that you discuss with your DCs or not?

Yes, but with caveats - energy waste takes in a variety of topics!

NannyPlumForPM Fri 11-Oct-13 14:36:35

Non tester:

I think it is INCREDIBLY important for children to be brought up with an awareness of what uses the most energy and how to save on this. For example a tumble dryer is an expensive tool to use, and has a large impact on the environment whereas drying on a rack is largely free!

The same with diswashers IMO, I think they are an impact on the environment that can be easily removed.

I think if children were taught about these impacts early on then they would be more aware than current climates

billybear Sat 12-Oct-13 19:21:29

I think we all think about food waste, cook what we will eat, turn off light, excerise walking when we can , saves petrol recycling rubbish it all helps, put rubbish in bins on street not on floor, pick up after your dog, we all try to save electric its getting more expensive, so I think as long as every body does their bit it all helps make the world greener,we can only all try

Chelseamamma Mon 14-Oct-13 19:30:32

Tester:
We have had our Smart meter since August and it has been invaluable.
We have tots and teens in the house and it's the teens that are learning the most as they have a habit of leaving lights on, phones charging and consoles on (downloading updates apparently).
We have set our monitor to "challenging" and although we have failed on a few occasions we have also had success!
It will be interesting to see how we get on in the winter months and I've stubbornly refused to put the heating in yet adds another jumper
www.chelseamamma.co.uk/2013/10/british-gas-smart-meter.html

Ruby6918 Wed 16-Oct-13 17:14:11

i am trying my best to each my children about the environment, we have built a nest for wildlife, i grow some vegetables pots, i have no grass!, i freeze portions of food for meals at a later time, i wont allow them to litter and we bring a bag and bring our rubbish home with us, i turn off all switches that arent being used and they walk to school every day, i also use charity shops a great deal for clothes and also donate ones that they have grown out of, i only do a full wash at any time and use only green detergents, im trying but sadly a lot of people throw rubbish everywhere and dont even try to re cycle i think its up to parents to bring our future generations up to love our world.

MollyRoses Wed 16-Oct-13 18:01:37

I think creating a greener environment is INCREDIBLY important and younger generations should be educated on it so it is not somethign to think of as 'oh that's a green way to do something' but an ingrained practice. I am astounded at the amount of 20 somethign year olds that think the planet is magically going to sort itself out therefore they do not need to recycle/save energy etc.

Theimpossiblegirl Fri 18-Oct-13 09:06:49

It would be nice if schools could promote environmental awareness more but they probably have enough to do. Maybe British Gas could use some of their profits which are bound to go up now they have hiked up their prices to set up a funding scheme to enable schools to educate children on energy waste and carbon emissions.

Autismmumma Fri 18-Oct-13 13:04:31

I'm a tester and had our meters changed to smart meters, my first post:
http://www.autismmumma.com/just-how-smart-are-smart-meters

InkleWinkle Fri 18-Oct-13 20:45:12

General questions

- How did you find the installation of the smart meters? Was it any more or less complicated than you were expecting? - Less complicated, took less time than expected, installer was very pleasant
- What are your first impressions of being upgraded to smart meters and having a smart energy monitor? - first impression is that it's a shame the monitor has to be constantly plugged in using electricity!!
- Has the smart energy monitor that comes with smart meters helped you keep track of your energy consumption? - yes it has to the point that we are sooooo paranoid about the figures!
- Has the smart energy monitor helped your children to understand/be more interested in energy? If so how? - yes the 9yr old always has a sneaky glance at it on the way past and has started now going back to the room she's just left to switch off all the stuff she left on. This is now rubbing off on the 3yr old although she doesn't understand why. I think because it has a £ value it makes it more real for them.
- If it came up in conversation, would you recommend getting a smart meter upgrade with British Gas to your family/friends? If so why? If not why not? Yes I would because even if money isn't an issue there are still ways to cut back.

Month 1: Finding the activities that use the most energy
This task is all about educating the future generations about the cost of energy wastage to both the environment and your household bills.
This month we'd like testers to try to discover which activities in your home use the most energy:

- Have each member of the family write down the 3 activities they think use the most energy in the home. What were these? Washing machine, dishwasher, electric heater in conservatory.
- Ask your children to guess how much gas or electricity they think each activity involves - please let us know what they said. Guesses were wildly out (she's only 9) so not worth reporting!
- Ask your children to turn on various domestic appliances in turn and record how much electricity is consumed and how much it actually costs by looking at the smart energy monitor. You can do the same for gas appliances, but it takes a bit longer (30 minutes - due to the way gas volume is measured and translated into kWh) for the figures to be displayed on the smart energy monitor. Sorry, don't have a note of actual figures - will do this for next time & report back.
- Which activity used the most energy? Did this surprise you? Will you and your family change how you use gas or electricity appliances in the future or not? If so, how? If not why not? Surprisingly washing machine / dishwasher were reasonable. Electric shower is not reasonable! Was costing about 20p each for shower - are now much quicker in the shower!!
We are very surprised how much lighting is esp. halogen spotlights. And I can't believe how much gas costs. Obviously I did know because we get bills! but I can see it racking up on the monitor now and it scares me! Has definitely made me think twice / thrice about putting the heating on so far!

InkleWinkle Fri 18-Oct-13 20:58:59

Also meant to say don't know how much electric heater in conservatory actually costs because I've been too scared to try it!!

Non-Tester- Being Green is something that I try to instill in my DD.
It's definitely something that should be covered at school, we're currently trying to raise money through the PTA to get solar panels fitted to the school. (I quite fancy them for my house as well!)

I don't think that this country has invested in Biomass as much as it should and we should be following places like Germany who have this 'Algae Powered' building

link

I would move to an energy supplier even if they were slightly more expensive than what I pay at the moment if I knew that they were investing strongly in biomass.

aristocat Mon 21-Oct-13 12:54:23

non-tester.

Yes, being green is very important and it is our responsibility to set the example as parents. It is a topic that is covered at my DCs schools and should also be discussed at home. I have seen posters at school (written by the pupils) to save energy and turn off the light smile in the ladies.

Future generations need to be educated about energy waste and carbon emissions. Mine know to turn lights off when leaving a room, recycle, walk instead of using the car, not to drop litter etc and I would hope that this will continue.

FreeWoooooooo Sat 26-Oct-13 21:01:37

Non tester

It's surely a no brainer that we should reduce our energy usage both to save money and to save the environment. As my DD grows up we will be teaching her about both elements. I remember my parents reminding me to turn off lights, not leave things on standby, recycling etc and I've continued with their messages as I've grown up. I'd actually be fascinated to have a smart meter as I'm not sure what appliances use the most and I'd be keen to reduce my usage by even more. If my DD is anything like her dad she'll be fascinated by the gadget!

poopoopoo Sun 27-Oct-13 09:57:05

Tester- Challenge 2
•When do you and your family consume the most energy?
We consume the most energy on weekday evenings around 5pm and on Saturdays at around 12:00 and 18:00. This is because of cooking and heating water for baths.
•Challenge each family member to change the time they use at least one appliance (gas or electricity) - please tell us which family member chose what, and how they’re going to change the times at which this is used.
This is a bit tricky because the only thing the kids use is the TV, and me and my husband use the PC. The kids have agreed to not turn the telly on as soon as they get home, this means homework can be done first. I have decided to do the washing overnight, so put it in the machine last thing before going to bed. My husband finds this challenge the hardest; we have challenged him not to use the computer as soon as he gets back from work.
•How did you and your family find making these changes? Was it easy to adapt to or not?
It was quite easy, we are getting on ok with it, the kids are happy as long as they have my attention and help with the homework; otherwise they tend to switch on the TV! I have to remember to get the washing out and hang it first thing in the morning and avoid the using the tumble dryer as much as possible.
•Do you use your smart energy monitor more than when you first had smart meters installed or less?
We are using it about the same, checking every now and then to see what is going on. I am more concerned now prices have risen and try to turn off lights and cut down energy use where possible. I just make it part of everyday life to try and be responsible (we can't afford not to be careful- for the planet and for our bank balance!).

Happiestinwellybobs Thu 07-Nov-13 14:16:14

Non tester:

I think it's vital that we teach our children about these issues. DD is only 2.5 but I do try to talk about recycling, picking up litter, switching off the TV etc. She knows I must pick up after our dog.

We have had a log burner installed as have access to free wood, so we are desperately trying not to use our central heating until it gets really cold. We have installed energy saving lightbulb everywhere we can. DD knows that we walk lots rather than using our car for short journeys too.

sharond101 Thu 07-Nov-13 21:27:48

MY DS is too young to talk himself yet but we will lead by example and explain why we recycle, save energy etc. I hope schools do more to educate children as it's a given now everyone needs to do their bit.

watsoa Fri 08-Nov-13 12:08:04

I hope that schools are taking environmental concerns seriously by ensuring that children are educated in energy saving, recycling etc.

Tusty Fri 08-Nov-13 21:00:33

Non tester

I think it's really key for youngsters to be taught, whether at home or school. School's more realistic as not all families would have the same understanding or inkling to teach them. I think carbon emissions is a lot more complicated (working in resource management, it's hard even within the area we work in!) so waste/value is a more realistic area to be encouraging interest in.

My son's 2 1/2 and I automatically tell him we turn off lights (he closes doors automatically), turn off taps, keep fridge door shut etc, and to be honest he seems better trained than my husband who still refuses to recycle! I think if it's engrained behaviour that they grow up with it continues into adulthood.

CathBookworm Sat 09-Nov-13 10:10:44

I think it's essential we teach the next generation how important it is not to waste energy, and should definitely be taught in schools. My son is too young to understand yet, but we will hopefully teach him about the importance of recycling, switching lights off, after all the small things are important too, and you teach by setting a good example.

Its really important and we have spoken about it and why it is important. i think they should incorporate more to do with energy saving into school curriculum as it all helps to build a bigger picture on why its important.

tinypumpkin Sat 09-Nov-13 15:00:17

It is so important that children are aware of environmental issues. even our two year old knows to recycle things (not always correctly!) This is our future and it is important that children understand why energy saving and recycling are so important. I do think that this is something that should be focused on in school as well as at home of course. We are all responsible.

lisej Sun 10-Nov-13 15:46:54

This is something that I've just realized that I don't think about enough, especially in regards to educating my son about the impact on the environment. I need to find out more and talk about it more at home.

nickyh173 Sun 10-Nov-13 21:10:41

We use extra clothes and blankets to keep ourselves warmer, as the bills go up the extra layers go on!

elizaco Mon 11-Nov-13 10:43:30

I'm a non-tester.

I definitely think the younger a child is introduced to green issues the better. By being led by example at home (walking rather than using car, recycling, using less electricity etc..) and by being taught at school.

mumsbe Tue 12-Nov-13 10:20:07

Hi i think children and parents should be taught about recycling and carbon foot print. We discuss this topic however there is probably a lot more i should know. My daughter always walks when we can and we recycle all that we can

Everhopeful Wed 13-Nov-13 11:26:15

Non-tester

It's vital that this is covered, probably in PSHE lessons, though perhaps as a topic in language classes. Our children also hold their future in their own hands: we can only help them. DD has reached the age where she's more likely to listen to people at school than me, teachers or pupils and really hasn't cottoned on properly at all. Most people reckon we live in a fridge compared to them, but me and DH believe in sticking on another jumper (though DH has a weak spot about turning lights off) and both DH and DD reckon I'm a recycling obsessive. We try to set a good example, but deeper exploration is better done in class where everyone has to listen to the teacher and then explore the concepts more themselves. If I try the same thing, it's evident to me I'm just preaching to someone who wants to go and do something else: it's a dead loss.

Babycarmen Wed 13-Nov-13 16:04:23

I think it is extremely important to teach children about the environment. My DD is 6 and she already knows why we need to turn lights off when they are not needed, and to recycle.. And she finds it all interesting! I think schools should do more from a younger age to encourage this though.

HootyMcOwlface Thu 14-Nov-13 13:34:23

Non tester.
I think its important to talk to your kids about living a greener life in a relaxed fashion, by dropping in ideas in everyday conversation and following through on them,. E.g. switching off lights, using more energy efficient bulbs, not wasting water etc..
Children learn these things at school but they'll get practical ideas and pick up habits for the future from the way their family lives.

sassymay Thu 14-Nov-13 21:33:16

Our school fundraising for solar panels. They all did sponsored cycle on the Pedal-A-Watt bike. One mum suggested ditching the solar panels idea and just setting up a pedalling rota for the children! Not as crazy as it sounds: healthy children and a low carbon footprint

WowOoo Fri 15-Nov-13 12:04:36

Non tester

It's so important that the next generation will be more clued up and proactive than we are.
It should be spoken about in school as well as at home. Mine get told about saving energy and recycling very often. I don't talk with my eldest about the saving money aspect of it - I don't want to burden him with that just yet.
Any opportunity to discuss green issues is a great chance for learning and debate.

InkleWinkle Fri 15-Nov-13 13:08:37

Tester Challenge 2

Question 1) when do you & your family consume most energy?
Answer) probably same as majority of families - after 4pm weekdays and after 1pm at weekends.

InkleWinkle Fri 15-Nov-13 13:15:45

2) change the time you use appliances:

Really hard to do because we're in at the same times (dictated by school / work / clubs) do that's when we use them.
Have tried using washing machine later in evening after kids baths rather than in the morning. Same with dishwasher. Am loathe to do overnight due to fire safety concerns.
To be honest, like most families, the times we want to use appliances will be the most expensive times because the fuel companies know when we're around & charge accordingly.

3) Smart Meter more or less since you got it?

Just the same, always check to see what we're using. Check it at times like 1st thing in the morning to check the reading is along same lines as always & nothing untoward has happened grin

katiewalters Sat 16-Nov-13 08:59:07

I think it's important our dcs learn about a greener environment. My son is 4, he's already learned about it at school and we have been to a science museum, where there wS a section on recycling which you could part in. I explain to him about energy saving! Turning things off when not using them, etc so he will grow up to do the same.

fluffylaw Fri 22-Nov-13 13:15:55

I desperately want a smart meter as our gas use has rocketed out of control. We'd actively like to save energy and reduce our bills. Unfortunately it is too hard to get one at the moment. We contacted British Gas and asked to convert to them, if we could get a smart meter, but they couldn't commit to getting us a smart meter in less than a year unless we signed up to a special tariff which would cost us about £1800 more.... We were happy to go on a tarif which cost us negligibly more, but the guranteed smart meter one is ridiculous - so we had to stay with our much cheaper current provider who doesn't yet offer smart meters. Smart => dumb!

KatieBMumsnet (MNHQ) Fri 22-Nov-13 16:34:29

Thanks for all your comments. The winner of the prize draw is...

maxmissie

Congratulations, I'll PM you for your details.

soo999 Mon 25-Nov-13 12:52:20

First one broke after a while and BG sent another when asked. However it was a different model and took some getting used to. Overall, I think the Smart Meter is V. Useful, though.

Charliebobz Fri 29-Nov-13 00:24:47

Very important that we pass on the message to our kids about not wasting energy and make it second nature to switch off standbys etc.

lmcontrary Mon 02-Dec-13 21:21:13

non tester
its very important to get the kids educated and involved in enviromental causes, clearing rivers, using smart meters, recycling, using the car less etc. They are the generation that will benefit from any reductions in waste and global warming we can make. I think a smart meter is a good visual aid for this and one of the things available to parents.

candish63 Mon 02-Dec-13 21:34:25

It is great to teach the younger generation not to waste energy

fanny6 Tue 03-Dec-13 09:10:27

Educating Adults & children about conservation

Jofsat Tue 03-Dec-13 18:16:18

I do thing smart meters and green energy should be on the school agenda like recycling is.

jamesleesaunders Sat 08-Mar-14 14:49:59

Aside from the education about environmental benefits, having Smart Meters could also get kids interested in mathematics and statistics. For me (as a computer geek) I find stats more interesting than the environmental benefits (that's not to say it's not important!!). Learning about graphs and comparison techniques could also be a benefit to kids at school while learning about smarter energy.

If anyone is interested... I have also written a small article on our experience getting British Gas Smart Meters installed, as you will read, it was not plain sailing for me:

http://www.smartofthehome.com/2013/09/british-gas-smart-meters-part-1/

http://www.smartofthehome.com/2013/09/british-gas-smart-meters-part-2/

Please feel free to post your comments and on this post too, I would be very interested to hear your experiences.

Jim

jamesleesaunders Sat 08-Mar-14 14:51:34

Aside from the education about environmental benefits, having Smart Meters could also get kids interested in mathematics and statistics. For me (as a computer geek) I find stats more interesting than the environmental benefits (that's not to say it's not important!!). Learning about graphs and comparison techniques could also be a benefit to kids at school while learning about smarter energy.

If anyone is interested... I have also written a small article on our experience getting British Gas Smart Meters installed, as you will read, it was not plain sailing for me:

www.smartofthehome.com/2013/09/british-gas-smart-meters-part-1/

www.smartofthehome.com/2013/09/british-gas-smart-meters-part-2/

Please feel free to post your comments and on this post too, I would be very interested to hear your experiences.

Jim

HappydaysArehere Sat 07-Jun-14 18:20:14

Had smart meter fitted. Initial problem as had a gas leak but this was soon remedied. However, a week or so later we had an extremely loud piercing alarm sound which continued for a few minutes. It stopped but we rang Gas Board who told us it must have been caused by some testing. They said if it happened again we should press the green button on the box. Without a torch the button was not apparent but when lit was obvious. No trouble since so cross fingers. Looked at monitor to begin with which gave a general guide but then there didn't seem any point. Might as well save the electricity the monitor uses!

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