In the words of Whitney Houston “our children are the future”.

It is imperative that the next generation understands the source of the energy that we rely on so heavily, and the impact this has on the environment. We know from experience, it can be hard to explain these concepts to our little ones, especially my three, Tallulah, Oscar, and Shae, who you can see in the photo above with my wife Lucy & I.

I have put together this guide to help you and your family understand what energy is, where it comes from, and the impact it can have on the planet. It may help you save some money on your monthly energy bills, too!

What is energy?

Energy is all around us; in short it makes things work. In the most basic form, electricity is used to turn the lights on and Gas is used to cook our dinner… amongst many other things of course. It can be found in almost every daily routine – televisions, consoles, mobile phones, lights at home, radiators – they all need energy to work.

Ask your children – can they imagine life without energy? It would be a bit dark, cold and boring!

Where does our energy come from?

Energy sources can be separated into two categories: renewable, and non-renewable.

Renewable energy comes from naturally occurring sources on our planet that are constantly replaced. These include solar (from the sun), wind, hydro (water) and biomass (organic materials). This is a sustainable way of sourcing energy and is the best way to help our environment beat rising carbon levels.

Non-renewable energy is made from prehistoric animals and plants that died and were buried deep under the ground, otherwise known as fossil fuels. Non-renewable energy, such as natural gas, coal and oil don’t replace themselves when used. This is a non-sustainable way to use energy, as once its been used, its gone!

Energy & the environment

Now we understand the difference between renewable and non-renewable energy, we can see why it is so important that we use renewable sources as much as possible, and don’t waste any energy. When we use non-renewable sources of energy, we are taking a finite, or limited, resource out of the Earth. When it is all gone, it really is gone!

As a family, try to make a point of switching off the lights when you leave a room, turning off the television and games consoles when you’re not watching or playing, and popping on a jumper if you feel a bit chilly, rather than cranking up the heating. Not only will this help save energy, it will also help you to save some money on your energy bills!

Another way of limiting the impact of your energy usage on the environment is by switching to renewable, clean energy. As well as being, well, renewable…it also doesn’t create any direct greenhouse gases, which contributes to rising carbon levels in the Earths atmosphere. However, nothing is perfect for our environment, that’s why it is so important for us all to keep creating technology that can have an impact on reducing/removing carbon emissions. Currently some greenhouse gases are created through installing and operating renewable energy sources, like wind turbines or solar panels, but these are minimal compared to the burning of fossil fuels.

When you next have time to look at your energy supply, why not sit down with your children and involve them in the process of switching suppliers, I did… and it was great fun. You could find out what energy source your energy supplier uses, and find out where you can access energy that is better for the environment. Something that seems mundane to us as adults can provide children with a window into grown-up decisions and how we can use our buying power to make a difference.

At Experienced Energy solutions, we can help you to make the switch, finding a supplier that meets your needs. Our handy online comparison tool is a good place to start looking at what is available on the market.

Let’s start a conversation with the next generation, and help them understand the impact our choices have on the environment, and what we can do to help make a cleaner, greener future.

Dominic O’Brien /