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Energy Saving Tips

Small changes equal big energy savings

The biggest long-term savings come from changing your energy habits and being more energy efficient around the home.

As you start to see savings its a good idea to re-invest this money in energy saving products and appliances to reduce your energy consumption even further. The long-term savings will more than pay for the cost of purchasing and installing these measures.

Start using these no-cost energy saving ideas around your home and measure the reduction in your next few energy bills. The more you apply the more you’ll save.

Heating Tips

  • Set your heating to go off 30 minutes before you leave the house, and come on again 30 minutes before you expect to return.
  • Turn the room thermostat down by 1 degree. This can save you around £30 a year.
  • Make sure your radiators are not obstructed by curtains or furniture.
  • Draw your curtains at dusk to help keep the heat generated inside your rooms.
  • Insulate your loft space and consider cavity wall insulation too.

Electrical Appliances

  • Use energy efficient light bulbs which use less energy and last up to ten times longer than standard bulbs.
  • Turn off household appliances such as microwaves, TVs, videos, music systems, and computers when not in use, as they continue to use energy when they are left on standby.

Refrigeration

  • Don’t leave the fridge door open and try to avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge as this increases the energy required to keep the contents cold.
  • Defrost your fridge frequently and check the door seals. Avoid putting your fridge next to heat generating appliances such as an oven or boiler. If possible, keep the freezer in a cool room or garage.

Washing Machines, Tumble Dryers and Dishwashers

  • Use a low temperature setting and only wash full loads or use a half-load or economy programme.
  • In summer, dry your clothes outside rather than using a tumble dryer.
  • When drying your clothes indoors, use a clothes rail instead of a radiator as this stops the heat from reaching the rest of the room.
  • Modern dishwashers use less energy and water than washing up by hand.

Cooking

  • Use a pan which is the same size as the cooker ring to prevent heat loss.
  • Use a lid on saucepans where possible, so the contents heat up faster and require less energy.
  • Consider using pressure cookers, steamers and microwaves which use less energy.

Hot Water

  • When using a kettle, only boil as much water as you need.
  • If you live in a hard water area, limescale can effect the efficiency of your kettle. Look out for a buildup of limescale in your kettle and treat with vinegar or descaling solutions.
  • Consider turning the thermostat on your hot water tank down to 60 degrees centigrade which is a comfortable temperature for most people and will save on your heating costs.
  • If you have a standard shower it will use around 40% of the water required for a bath.

Is it cost effective to replace your inefficient appliances?

There is a significant initial cost to replacing a washing machine or boiler and, in reality, most of us are unlikely to replace them until they break down or become outdated.

But outdated and inefficient appliances are contributing to higher bills right now and the longer you stick with them, the more money you waste. The initial cost of replacing even the most expensive appliance can be recovered in just 3-6 years through lower energy and the savings will go on long after you’ve got your money back.

Which energy saving products should you consider first?

Ideally you should start by replacing the most inefficient products and appliances first but these tend to be the most expensive to replace such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, tumble dryers and boilers.

When you do replace them, look for A rated models that carry the ‘energy saving recommended’ logo. For fridges, freezers, washers and dryers the energy saving recommended logo complements the European Union energy label which displays how much energy an appliance uses on a scale of A to G.

The easiest household product to replace are your lightbulbs. For a relatively small amount of money you can quickly install bulbs that use five times less electricity and last ten times longer than normal bulbs.

As well as products that consume energy you should also replace or install measures that help keep the heat in your home for longer. The cheapest of these are draught excluders and covers for your letter box and key holes. Next is loft insulation followed by cavity wall insulation and double glazed windows