With energy prices on the rise once again, it’s time for us to work harder than ever to manage the electricity and gas used within our homes. While there are some bigger investments you can make for long-term energy savings, these are often costly upfront and you may not see the benefit for many years. However, there are some small changes you can begin to make around your home to start building energy-saving habits.
Free And Easy Energy-Saving Tips
There are plenty of small changes you can make to save energy at home right now, and reduce gas and electricity bills, that won’t cost you a thing. Get the whole family involved and start building new habits to help you save energy.
- Unplug or switch off devices when not in use
Most electrical appliances can be turned off at the wall when you are not using them as it will not interfere with their programming. Appliances like hairdryers, chargers, lamps, toasters, kettles and any other small device that can be easily reached should be turned off at the wall when you are not using them.
However, integrated kitchen appliances are probably more difficult to switch off, not to mention your fridge and freezer will need to be on all the time anyway. In addition, you probably want to leave your TV plugged in at all times to record shows and avoid reprogramming.
- Turn lights off when leaving a room
This is an easy one. Every time you leave a room and don’t plan on returning for a while, you should turn the lights off. Leaving a light on in an empty room is an easy way to waste money and energy so turn them off when you leave the room to reduce energy costs.
- Keep the thermostat at a low temperature
Rather than cranking the heating up high, it’s recommended that you keep the thermostat at a low temperature. This will still heat your home but it will be more cost-effective and energy-efficient if you aim to keep the thermostat at around 17 degrees celsius.
- Cook with the lid on
By cooking with the lid on, you can reduce your cooking time, which means using less gas or electricity, whilst also reducing your water usage and consumption.
- Do a full load of washing on a low temperature
When you have washing to do, try to avoid washing just a few things at a time. Instead, wait until you have a full load of lights, darks or coloured clothes and wash it all in one go to reduce the number of times you are using the washing machine. This can reduce your water consumption. In addition, try to wash your clothes at a low temperature, like 30 degrees celsius, as this can help in reducing your electricity usage
- Use a smart meter to track usage
At first, using a smart meter can seem a bit daunting and you can see exactly how much money you are spending on energy each day, which may be much more than you originally thought. However, you can use this visibility to your advantage. By seeing exactly how much money you are spending on energy, it can encourage you to make those simple changes by switching off plug sockets when appliances aren’t in use.
- Reduce your shower time
Your daily shower shouldn’t need to last any longer than 4 minutes if you are only washing your body. You could start to time yourself to see how long you are spending in the shower and work to reduce this time to save hot water.
Long-Term Energy-Saving Investments
Long-term energy investments can cost a lot of money upfront but lead to great savings in the long run. So, what home improvements can you make to make your home more energy-efficient and start cutting your energy bills?
- Get double glazing windows and doors
Double glazing provides better protection against cold and drafts and helps to prevent heat from escaping your home. Not only that, but double glazing can help to reduce the number of greenhouse gasses escaping from your home and reduce your carbon footprint.
- Use LED light bulbs
This is a cheap and easy way to make a subtle improvement to your home that will make a big difference. Next time you need to replace a light bulb, buy LED bulbs instead of halogen. Halogen bulbs expel most of their energy and don’t last as long as LEDs. LED bulbs are a bit more expensive upfront but will last around 40% longer as they are much more efficient.
- Switch to energy-efficient appliances
Most large home appliances, like fridges, freezers and washing machines, will have an EPC or energy efficiency rating. Energy efficiency ratings range from G to A, with G being the lowest and A being the highest. While it will not be cost-effective or kind to the environment to replace appliances that aren’t broken, EPC rating is something to bear in mind when products come to the end of their life.
Appliances with an A rating are sometimes more expensive upfront but can lead to greater energy savings in the long run as they are much more efficient. So, if it’s time to replace your fridge, be sure to look at the energy efficiency rating before you purchase.
- Use alternative energy sources
While it may not always be possible, it is becoming more accessible to use alternative energy sources such as wind and solar power. In some areas and some financial situations, you may be entitled to a grant to have solar panels installed for free. Solar panels and wind turbines mean you can use energy generated by the sun or wind which is cheap, efficient and reduces your carbon emissions. You may even be able to find solar-powered versions of some of your favourite devices.
- Invest in wall or loft insulation
Installing wall or loft insulation can, again, be costly upfront but lead to long-term savings. Insulation helps to keep heat within your home and prevent it from escaping. This means that it will cost less to heat your home as the heat is trapped inside more efficiently and it also helps to reduce your carbon footprint.
- Switch to smart devices
Smart devices can detect when an appliance or device is no longer in use and turn it off automatically. You could also consider installing a smart thermostat that allows you to adjust your heating when you are not at home to save having it on when nobody is there. This can help to reduce your energy consumption and lower your bills.
There are lots of things you can do to reduce your energy consumption at home and save money. With energy bills on the rise, the small things really can make a big difference so start making small changes around your home to start saving energy today.