How to save energy in your home

Saving energy can seem like a hassle, but once you get used to it, many measures become second nature. Here are some tips to help you cut your bills and get the most for the money you spend on energy. Some are practical measures and some are behavioural changes, but they should all be affordable or even free. By being a bit more careful about your energy usage, not only will you save the planet, you’ll also save on your bills!

Saving energy around the house

    • Make the most of heating controlsDropping your thermostat down by just one degree to save up to £100 over the course of the year. Use thermostatic radiator valves to turn the heating down – or off – in rooms you’re not using. Also, program your heating carefully to make sure you’re not wasting money and energy heating your home when you’re not in. Smart heating controls allow you to fine-tune your heating to ensure maximum efficiency.
    • Avoid electric convection heating – electricity costs 4x as much as gas. If your property is off-gas, you have other options. Infrared, for example, is powerful and efficient.
    • Switch to LED lighting. It’s hugely more efficient. Halogen bulbs give off 90% of their electricity as wasted heat, and only 10% as light. With LEDs, this figure is reversed. They’re less likely to break than old -style bulbs and they can really save you money.
    • A lot of energy goes into heating water, so cutting back on wastage is important.
    • Insulate your hot water tank. Old models can lose a lot of heat, and hot water cylinder jackets are cheap and easy to install yourself.
    • Draught proof as much as possible. You can fit draught excluders under windows and doors and in chimneys.
    • Insulate! You can be really clued up on energy efficiency, but there is no point heating your home if it all escapes through the walls and roof. Cavity wall insulation and loft insulation are affordable and effective options. Bigger measures like external solid wall insulation can pay off in the long run.

Saving energy in the kitchen

    • Clever cooking can save you quite a bit on your energy bill. Cooking in bulk will mean you don’t have to heat your oven as often. Putting lids on pots and pans reduces cooking times. Defrosting frozen food in the fridge overnight halves its cooking time. Leave the oven open when you’ve finished cooking – free heating!
    • Microwaves are more energy efficient than ovens. It goes without saying that some things can’t be cooked in a microwave. But they use up to 90% less energy than conventional ovens, so use them when you can!
    • A fridge freezer can account for up to 5% of a household’s annual electricity bill. Defrost it regularly, and check its seals are intact. In order for a fridge to work efficiently, air needs to be able to circulate around it – don’t store stuff on top, don’t push it back flat against the wall and hoover dust off the condenser coils at the back.
    • Energy efficient appliances will save you money in the long run. When you come to replace them, look for A-rated models.
    • Clean the lint filter each time you use the tumble dryer. This helps air to circulate and stops the machine overheating, meaning it runs more efficiently. Dry clothes outside when you can.
    • Don’t wash your clothes at unnecessarily high temperatures. A 40°C wash uses a third less energy than a 60°C cycle. Also, be sure to fill up your washing machine every time you use it.
    • Don’t leave things on standby – if they have lights, they’re still using energy.
    • Turn your lights off when you leave the room!
    • Use your dishwasher. It’s normally more efficient than washing up by hand.
    • Don’t fill the kettle with more than you need.

Hopefully this has given you something to think about, but it’s by no means an exhaustive list! You’ll find loads more information on energy saving in other tech pages, plus our blogs and videos.