Energy Saving Tips
To help keep your home warm and reduce overuse and expenditure on energy.
- Control your heating: Many households have their central heating set higher than they need it. Try turning your room thermostat down by one degree. Leave it for a day and if you still feel warm enough, try turning it down another degree. Carry on until it feels a bit too cool and then turn it back up one degree. Every degree that you turn it down could save you around £65 a year on your heating bill. Turn the heat down a couple of degrees if you are going to be away from home for a longer period of time. Use a hot water bottle to keep out the chill.
- Banish standby: Get into the habit of turning off your television and appliances at the socket or on the set, and not leaving it on standby. Standby is the mode in which an appliance is neither switched off, nor is in full-on mode, so it still uses energy. Turning your television completely off could save between £50 – £90 per year on electricity bills.
- Set your fridge and freezer to the right temperature: Your fridge should be set around 3°C to 5°C, and your freezer around -18°C. Let warm foods cool down before putting them in the fridge and fill you fridge with bottles of water if it’s empty, it saves on cooling costs.
- Fill your dishwasher and washing machine: Make sure you have a full load before you use the dishwasher or washing machine as a half load setting usually uses more than half the energy of a full load.
- Reduce the temperature of your washing machine: Washing clothes at 30 degrees rather than at higher temperatures uses around 40% less energy. Modern washing powders and detergents work just as effectively at lower temperatures so unless you have very dirty washing, bear this in mind.
- Dry washing on the line: Try not to use a tumble dryer unless needed and adjust the settings for the load so not to use it longer than necessary which wastes energy, and remember to switch it off at the plug socket when not in use
- Turn everything off! Turning off lights and appliances will save energy. If you turn a light off for even a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes the light to start up again, no matter what sort of lights you have. A family could save between £50 and £90 a year just by remembering to turn things off, if they don’t already do this.
- Install energy efficient appliances: If any of your appliances are 10 years old or older, you will save money by replacing them. This can include your boiler, kettle, fridge, freezer and lights. If you are buying a new appliance, look out for the energy usage certificate and try to buy a more efficient appliance which will use less energy and cost less to run. Use LED energy saving light bulbs, they last for up to eight years, depending on how often you use them and save you up to 80% of electricity for lighting. Note that compact fluorescent bulbs contain mercury, which is an environmental hazard. LED lights do provide value for money over the long term, usually paying for themselves in two years.
- Keep in your heat: By closing internal doors and turning off radiators in unused rooms. Draw the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in to prevent losing heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, maybe up a chimney or two, and a whole host of other little holes around the house. Invest in proper draught-proofing products for the doors and windows. Top off your loft insulation to 250mm. Secondary glazing film is inexpensive and an effective way to keep out draughts. Seal your skirting boards with silicone sealant, and fit chimney balloon or umbrella. Depending on your house, materials could cost up to £160 but you could save up to £75 a year, so they’ll pay for themselves in less than two years.
- Take short showers: Try to limit electric showers to 4-5 minutes or invest in a shower monitor to keep an eye on how much hot water you’re using.
- Turn off the taps: A running tap wastes more than six litres of water a minute, so turn off the tap while brushing your teeth, shaving, or washing your face – and use cold water if you don’t need hot.
These and other energy saving tips are available at the following websites