Energy Savings Tips

Save Money on Your Household Bills

There are many things you can do around your home which will help reduce energy use and save money, many of which can be achieved with little or no expenditure at all.

If you haven’t switched your energy supplier(s) that will save you money … you can switch with us anytime on our Ofgem approved comparison tool or sign up and take advantage of even bigger savings with one of our collective switches.

These energy savings tips not only save you money, they also help us all to use less energy so we help prevent climate change.

Save on Heating Bills

  • Turn your room thermostat down by 1°C and save around 10% on your heating costs without any significant difference in comfort level. The recommended temperature for a living room is 21°C;
  • Drawing your curtains and blinds at dusk helps to keep heat generated in the room. Remember not to cover your radiators if possible – tuck your curtains behind your radiators if possible;
  • Do not put furniture directly in front of radiators as it stops the radiator doing its job;
  • If you have electric storage heaters, remember to close the damper or lower output dial before you go to bed or if you go out during the day;
  • Put up heavy curtains or line curtains with thermal linings to reduce heat loss through your windows; or over open-plan sitting room/staircase layouts;
  • You can eliminate or reduce external drafts by applying an easy to fit brush or seal on your exterior doors. However, you must remember that ventilation is important especially if you have open fires, gas fires or a boiler with a flue;
  • Reduce draughts from letterboxes and keyholes but installing cost-effective covers;
  • You can reduce heat loss in your home by using draft excluders at the base of your doors;
  • If you have an open plan living room area, consider shutting areas off by installing heavy curtains. For example, the heat lost up an open staircase can be greatly reduced by this simple measure;
  • A lot of energy is wasted in rooms with high ceilings. To improve this, install shelves above your radiators as this helps to push the heat into the room, rather than it drifiting up to the ceiling;
  • Put radiator panels behind radiators that are fixed to external walls to help reflect heat back into the room;
  • Install cavity wall and loft insulation. This is an effective way to cut your energy costs, and feel warmer too;
  • If your boiler is older than 15 years old, you may want to consider replacing it. New condensing boilers with effective thermostat controls around your property can save you lots of money each year.

Lighting

  • Use low energy lights (compact fluorescent bulbs or LED bulbs). They last many times longer than high-energy bulbs and will us up to 80% less electricity;
  • Save money by turning lights off during the daytime if possible, or when a room is empty.
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Water

  • Domestic hot water needs to be hot but not too hot. Set the cylinder thermostat or boiler output temperature to 60°C. This is more than adequate for bathing and washing;
  • Most showers use less water than a bath, and can save energy as well as water. Consider reducing the time you spend in the shower, or running it only when you have to, for example, when rinsing your hair. Also, a flow regulator or aerated showerhead can help save energy and water;
  • In just one day a dripping tap can waste enough water and energy to fill a bath, so make sure they are turned off, and that perished tap washers are fixed;
  • Insulate your hot water tank to ensure water stays hot for longer. The recommended thickness of insulation is 8cm;
  • Insulate pipes that run between your boiler and hot water tank, and the hot water pipes to your taps where they are accessible;
  • Many households will benefit from installing a water meter, particularly if it contains just one or two people. Contact your water company for more details.

Laundry

  • Use a full load in a washing machine. However, if this isn’t possible, remember to use the ‘half load’ or ‘economy’ setting on your washing machine;
  • You can reduce energy consumption by lowering the temperature of your washing machine from 40°C to 30°C;
  • Hang washing outside wherever possible rather than using your tumble dryer. If you do use a tumble dryer, keep the filters clean;
  • Using ‘eco balls’ in your tumble dryer will help clothes dry quicker, so saving you money;
  • Try not to dry clothes on the radiators as this makes your boiler work harder than it needs to. It also increases the amount of moisture in the air in your rooms.

Cooking

  • Use the right size of pan for your cooking ring. Put lids on pots when cooking uses up to 90% less energy and your food cooks quicker too;
  • Rather than boiling your vegetables, consider using a steamer or segmented pan instead. You will use less water and less energy to cook several vegetables at once;
  • A slow cooker is a great addition to the kitchen. They use less energy than ovens and enable you to buy cheaper cuts of meat too;
  • Pressure cookers and microwaves are useful in cooking many foods quicker;
  • The humble wok, generally used for stir-frying, is designed to use less fuel to cook food;
  • If using an oven, switch it off sooner as some dished will cook while the oven is cooling;
  • Don’t keep the oven door open for too long when in use;
  • Only use as much water as you need when boiling your kettle, remembering to cover the element. Ensure there is no significant build-up of limescale as this reduces efficiency;
    If you do not use the clock on your microwave, turn it off when not in use.

Electrical Items

  • Do not keep electrical appliances on unnecessary standby or leave appliances charging needlessly as this wastes electricity. Overcharging mobile gadget and devices can degrade their batteries quicker;
  • Always check the Energy Performance Label, or for an Energy Saving Trust Recommended Label when purchasing domestic appliances. An A+ or A++ rated appliance will save you a great deal of money, especially for appliances which are continually running such as fridges and freezers.

Fridge and Freezer

  • Don’t put hot food in a fridge or freezer as this reduce the efficiency of the appliance and costs you money. All food to cool down first;
  • Keep your fridge at the optimum temperature of around 3°C and 5°C. Ideally your freezer should be set to -18°C. It doesn’t need to be any colder than this – you’re wasting energy if it is;
  • Don’t leave the door open any longer than is necessary;
  • Make sure the door seals are clean and make good contact. If they’re not, they’ll let in warm air and push up running costs.