Some ideas on how to save energy around the home
Around the home
- If you have a timer on your central heating system, set the heating and hot water to come on only when required. The average house takes about 30 minutes to heat up and to cool down, so set the timer to turn the heating on about 30 minutes before you get up/get home from work, and to turn it off about 30 minutes before you leave the house/go to bed.
- If you have a hot water tank, set the cylinder thermostat to 60C (140F). Don’t be tempted to reduce the temperature to save money – there could be health risks of keeping water cooler. Save money by only heating the water when needed.
- Get a Smart Meter and In Home Display installed when you are offered one by your energy supplier. The in-home display will show you how much energy you are using so you can work out where there may be opportunities use less energy and therefore save money.
- Do a home energy check to find out how you may be able to save money in your home. Visit energysavingtrust.org.uk/domestic/home-energy-check to get a full report with details of your home’s energy use and the savings you could make.
In the kitchen
- Only heat the water you need in the kettle, (remembering to put in enough water to cover the elements of an electric kettle).
- Use just enough water to cover vegetables in a saucepan and use a lid to keep the heat in.
- Cut food into smaller chunks as they cook quicker.
- Cook jacket potatoes in the microwave – they only take about 8 minutes.
- Pressure cookers cook food faster.
- Try not to open the oven door too much while cooking as this loses heat.
- Don’t keep the fridge door open any longer than you need to and remember to regularly defrost your fridge and freezer.
- Make sure your fridge is not overfilled as it needs to have space for air to circulate in order to operate efficiently.
- Allow food to cool before putting it in the fridge/freezer. Also defrost food in the fridge as it helps to reduce the air temperature in the fridge.
- When possible bring food to room temperature before cooking – food will cook slightly quicker if cooked from room temperature than from fridge temperature or frozen.
Bathroom and washing
- Use showers instead of baths and try to spend no longer than 8 minutes under the water. Most water suppliers offer free shower timers as well as other water saving measures.
- Fill your washing machine and use a low temperature setting. Use the ‘economy’ setting if there is one.
- One full load of a washing machine, dishwasher or tumble dryer will use less energy than two half loads.
- Dry clothes outside if possible.
- If you need to use the tumble drier, keep an eye it so you don’t use it for longer than you need to.
- For Economy 7 customers: put the washing machine or tumble drier on a timer to come on at night.
- You can dry clothes indoors on a clothes horse, but make sure the room is well ventilated to avoid condensation. Ideally, put them in a room with an open window and a shut door so the water can evaporate and go outside rather than into the house.
- A dripping hot water tap can waste enough energy in a single week to fill half a bath so fix leaking taps and make sure they are fully turned off.
In the living room
- Don’t dry clothes on the radiator – the boiler has to work harder if you do.
- Turn your thermostat down by 1C. The recommended range is between 18C and 21C.
- Don’t overheat rooms you are not using.
- Use thermostatic radiator valves to control the temperature in different rooms.
- Use energy saving light bulbs and switch off lights when leaving a room.
- Don’t leave appliances on standby – switch them off or use a standby saver plug.
- Make sure your kids don’t leave appliances running or charging when they’ve gone off to do other things.
- Block draughts to keep the heat in. For example draw your curtains at dusk to reduce heat loss through the windows. But tuck them behind the radiator so that the heat comes into the room.
According to the Energy Saving Trust, following these simple measures could save you:
|Turning heating down 1C:||£80|
|Turning lights, appliances and chargers off when not in use:||£44|
|Being careful with use of washing machine, drier and kettle:||£36|