RTÉ One, Monday 8.30pm (repeat)
Living Lightly

Programme 5

Did you know it can cost up to €1,200 each year to send your child to free primary school in Ireland? Presenter Conor Pope and Laura Murray McArdle look at the costs of books, uniforms, lunches, voluntary contributions and it's not cheap!

In Longford Camilla O' Connor and her two friends enlist the services of final year hair and makeup students to try and reduce the cost of going to their debs.

Meanwhile in Howth Ella gives the McGregors woolly jumpers in an attempt to bring down their heating bill!

Top Tips From Conor and Ella

Energy Conservation and Efficiency:

  • Heating costs approx 50% (€1,000) of the average annual energy bill
  • Turning it down by even 1 degree will save you 10% or €100
  • Draw curtains at dusk to retain heat in the room.
  • Insulating your attic could save up to 20% €200
  • Proper thermostats in each room & annual boiler maintenance could save 10-20% €100-200

Hot Water:

  • Putting a lagging jacket on your boiler will save 30% on water heating costs – cost about €25 to buy will save you up to €2.50 a week
  • Using a shower over a bath uses about 1/5 of the energy. However try to keep showers short (under 5 minutes) – waterproof timers are available.  A family of 5 using an electric shower for 1 minute each per day instead of 5 would save €14 a month or over €160 per year.


  • Using CFL lights will reduce your lighting bill by 80% and switch off    lights when leaving the room


  • Turning appliances off – not leaving them on standby saves 20% -   switching off TV and DVD player for example would save €10 per year
  • Only boiling the amount of water needed in a kettle.
  • Make sure washing machines and dishwashers are full before using – better still wash the dishes by hand in a sink of water. Operate these appliances at low temperature settings – i.e. at 30 ºC – this will save approx 40% over higher temperatures – This could save approx €16 per annum
  • The Howth family monitored their electricity usage with a meter from http://www.energymeter.ie/




Debs for Less
Hair and Makeup for Camilla and her friends by final year students:


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