Ten easy energy saving tips
Saving on energy is one of the most efficient ways to save major money at home.
You may be surprised at the massive financial impact that even a few simple changes can mean for your wallet – it could mean hundreds, or even thousands.
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Here are a few tips to save energy and pocket costs that can be put to better use elsewhere – all with a few simple changes.
1) Adjust the thermostat down a few degrees
Our favourite tip for saving energy with the smallest change is to adjust your thermostat.
This is often one of the top ways to save, and for good reason. For every degree you adjust your thermostat, you could save £85 a year.
According to Energy UK “turning it down by 1 degree could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent and save you around £85 a year."
Top Tip: If you turn your thermostat down 3 degrees, you could potentially save £255 a year.
2) Dress for the occasion
Make that thermostat adjustment hardly noticeable by cosying up to your jumpers and blankets at home.
A smartly chosen lounge outfit will keep your body heat in, and make keeping warm much easier, even as you move about your home to unheated rooms.
Top Tip: Some companies even supply very affordable lightweight thermal wear – look for things made of fleece, flannel, thermals or wool.
For extra crisp days, it may be worth layering with thermal “long underwear” underneath your loungewear to stay extra warm.
3) Choose the right night-warmth
One of the most energy (and cost) efficient ways to stay warm throughout the night is an electric under blanket – costing as little as 1p per night to run according to manufacturer Dreamland.
Top Tip: For other heaters, take care to look at the wattage it consumers. Some “cheap” space heaters can use up to 2000 watts – a consumption level that can make them very expensive, very quickly!
4) Lower the cost of cooking
Energy savings can begin prior to cooking, by thawing frozen food in your fridge and cutting down on cooking times.
When it’s time to cook, try to use the most energy efficient ways to heat foods. This includes using pressure cookers, slow cookers, and microwaves.
When using the oven or the hob is essential, try to bake several things at the same time, to reduce usage of energy, and/or use the smallest ring on the hob you can for the pot you are using.
Top Tip: When using the hob use lids on pots to keep the heat in, getting your cooking done faster.
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5) Think about energy-efficient ways to keep things clean
When washing your clothes or dishes, always use the lowest temperature you can, and avoid dry cycles. Air dry both when possible.
Top Tip: For clothing, lower temperatures will often mean they will last longer.
6) Switch off standby
Standby mode simply doesn’t make sense – it’s feeding energy into appliances not in use. And over the year it can cost a lot of money.
According to the BBC, this change alone can save £50-£80 per year.
Top Tip: To make switching off standby even faster, consider using a power strip with an on/off switch – which makes switching off your TV only take a sec.
7) Plug the door/window air leak
A piece of tissue may seem like an odd tool to help you save on energy, buy it can save you hundreds.
By applying a thin sheet of tissue to your windows and doors, you can see if even a little air is seeping out (causing it to move).
This air seepage can dramatically reduce the efficiency of your home if not addressed.
Top Tip: Fixing this issue can be as simple as using a draught blocker from a DIY store, or even plain tape.
8) Lighten up with energy-saving lightbulbs
Did you know that up to 90% of energy consumed from traditional lightbulbs is due to unneeded heat, not light?
That just goes to show how they are a huge waste of energy.
Top Tip: Changing your lightbulb can save you big.
According to Philips, one 25 watt incandescent bulb can cost £6.53 more a year to run than a LED. If your home has 10 lightbulbs, that can add up to as much as £65.30 a year – or £326 over 5 years!
9) Take showers rather than baths
The amount of energy to warm up the water for a bath is more than a shower (particularly a short one), so this is a very easy way to lower consumption.
Top Tip: To top up savings even more, consider using a lower setting on your power shower.
10) Pay less for as much – or as little energy as you need.
Finally, one of the most effective ways by far to save is fortunately also one of the easiest - which is to pay less for your energy overall by switching energy supplier.
Recent regulations means it has never been easier to get a bargain tariff. Switching suppliers is fast, easy, and done with little effort from you.
However, the savings prove to be substantial – as much as £315* on the cheapest tariffs. And, it only takes minutes to lock in savings.
It can be truly eye-opening to learn how much of an impact energy usage has on your finances.
The good news is that it goes both ways – by making a few smart choices, you can give your household budget a healthy boost.
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* Saving calculated against an average bill of £1,135 (Average of Big 6 energy suppliers' Monthly Direct Debit payment method standard tariffs) after price rises enacted. Source: energyhelpline.com 19/10/17.
All calculations are for an average usage dual fuel household paying by monthly direct debit.
Average usage as defined by OFGEM is 12,000 kWh pa of gas and 3,100 kWh pa of electricity.
Includes publicly available tariffs that are available in at least 12 of the 14 regions of the UK. Excludes exclusive, collective and staff tariffs that are not generally available.