Here are some easy to achieve energy efficiency measures that, combined, could save you hundreds of pounds per year. Our friends at Citizens Advice Calderdale compiled this list and kindly shared it with us:
- Understand your heating system and its controls. Take time to learn how the heating system works – and how to use the controls properly – so that you can use it in the best and most cost-effective way for you. For example, your home will take about 30 minutes to cool down (longer in a well-insulated property) so consider turning the heating off half an hour before you go to bed. Potential saving £70/year
- Turn your thermostat down. Reducing it by 1°C could save you energy and money without noticing any difference. Potential saving £55/year
- Avoid drying clothes on your radiators. This lowers the quantity of heat released by the radiators, so the boiler has to run for longer to achieve the same room temperature, thereby using more fuel overall. This will cause your heating bills to sky-rocket. You may end up with dry clothes, but you’ll also end up with a colder home and lighter wallet. Radiators are not designed for clothes drying and should not be used as such. Read more: https://www.which.co.uk/news/2020/01/whats-
- Keep furniture away from radiators. The foam in upholstered furniture is a very effective heat insulator and prevents it getting into your room.
- Draw the curtains. Especially at night, to keep the warmth in and the cold out. Also, tuck your
curtains behind the radiators.
- Fit extra curtains. For example, put a curtain across any single-glazed external doors.
- Fit draught proofing Draught-proofing around windows and doors. This could save you around £25 a year* based on a typical gas-fuelled semi-detached property in England, Scotland or Wales. Don’t forget to fit covers for your letter boxes and keyholes. You’d be surprised how much heat can be lost!
- Check the insulation in your loft/roof. Around 25% of heat lost in a typical uninsulated home escapes through the roof. You should have at least 270mm (11.5 inches) of insulation in the loft. If you add extra insulation, make sure it doesn’t get compressed. Raised platforms, above the height of the insulation, can be installed for storage. Potential saving £150/year
- Fit radiator reflector panels. You can lose heat if a radiator is on an external wall, especially if it isn’t insulated. Reflector panels help to reflect that heat back into the room. You can buy them from hardware shops, fit them yourself and you don’t need to remove the radiator. Potential saving £10/year
- Avoid estimated bills. Keep your bills accurate by submitting regular meter readings to your energy supplier.
- Replace your light bulbs with energy-efficient versions. Lighting accounts for about 7% of a household’s energy bill. Old-fashioned filament bulbs are only 5% efficient while energy-saving (CFL) bulbs use about 75-80% less energy. Potential saving £30/year
- Turn off the lights can save you around £11 a year
- Only use energy when you really need to and Avoid standby. Leaving appliances on standby can use as much as 75% of the energy they use when they’re fully switched on, For example, switch lights off when you leave a room and turn your TV off at the wall when you’re not using it. Unplug your microwave, turn off the oven clock, and turn off anything that carries on charging when on standby, including mobile phone chargers. Standby energy accounts for approximately 10% of electricity costs. Savings from £35/year
- Spend less time in the shower Spending one minute less in the shower each day will save up to £17 a year off your energy bills, per person. With a water meter this could save a further £11 off annual water and sewerage bills. If everyone in a four person household did this it would lead to a total saving of £79 a year.
- Cook sensibly. On average, cooking accounts for about 4% of energy use. Choose the right-sized pan for the food and the cooker. Cut food into smaller pieces and put lids on pans. The food will cook a lot quicker and use less power. And, Use your toaster rather than your grill. A toaster uses less energy than a grill. Don’t overuse your kettle. Kettles use quite a lot of energy so only boil as much water as you need. Leave your oven door open. After you’ve finished cooking in the oven, leave the door open to keep the kitchen warm.
- Use a slow cooker. Slow cookers take longer to cook food but they’re cheaper to run than conventional ovens.
- Use your microwave. If you’re defrosting food, or just warming things up, microwave ovens use much less electricity than conventional ovens. Potential saving £39/year
- When washing, use full loads. This will reduce the number of loads. If you need to do less than a full load, use the “half load”; or “economy” setting on your washing machine. Use the 30°C wash setting. Nowadays, this is more than adequate to clean clothes and will save you up to 75% of the cost of the hottest cycle. Use a shorter wash cycle. A cycle that lasts an hour, for example, is adequate for most washes. If you combine a shorter cycle with a lower temperature setting, you can save energy on two fronts. Potential saving £10 per year .Cutback your washing machine use by just one cycle per week and save a further£8 per person a year on energy.
- Ditch the tumble dryer. How often do you need clothes dry in an hour? Not often? Dry naturally, or invest in a clothes maiden and save from £85 a year.
- Don’t heat your water to a scalding temperature. For most people, 60°C/140°F is quite adequate. Check your boiler is not set too high.
- Use manual tools in the kitchen. For example, bread making and whisking can be done by hand.
- Don’t leave your iron on. Irons consume a lot of electricity so switch yours off when you’re not using it.
- When you can, either let your hair dry naturally, or towel dry it. Hair dryers consume lots of electricity and drying your hair naturally is better for it.
- Put on an extra layer! Adding more layers really does keep you warmer.
Potential minimum savings £250 per year