There is much that you can do to save on the energy that you use. Somtimes simply modifying long held behavious patterns can make a difference. Not only will this benefit your pocket, but it will also help reduce your carbon footprint.
- Ensure that all your light bulbs are energy efficient.
2 X 100W incandescent bulbs switched on for 4 hrs a day at a cost of 10p per KW/hr will cost you £29.20 annually
2 x 20W Energy Efficient bulbs switched on for 4 hrs a day at a cost of 10p per KW/hr will cost you £5.84 annually
- Switch off lights when a room is not in use
The less time you spend with the lights on, the more energy you save. A normal bulb will use 60 watts of energy an hour, meaning that you could conserve nearly 22,000 watts of energy per year by just switching off one bulb for one hour every day. That’s enough energy to power one month’s worth of evening TV viewing!
- Don’t leave electrical appliances on standby
8 – 10% of the total electricity used in your home is due to appliances left on standby. Your standby button is an energy-eating monster; some appliances still use 25% of their normal power in standby mode. It’s also estimated that a typical UK household could save £37 per year on electricity bills if they always fully switched home appliances off rather than leaving them on standby.
- Switch appliances with power packs or adapters off at the plug.
The downside of power packs/adapters is that, even if the piece of equipment is completely switched off, unless you’ve stopped the electricity at the socket you’ll still be using energy.
- Only boil as much water as you need
The Department of Environment, Food and Rural Affairs say: “If everyone boiled only the water they needed instead of ‘filling’ the kettle every time, we could save enough electricity to run practically all the street lighting in the U.K.”
- Keep your fridge/freezer full to cut energy usage
Your fridge/freezer is one of the busiest energy users in your kitchen, running at full capacity 24 hours a day, 7 days a week. Keeping your fridge or freezer as full as possible reduces the amount of energy used by your appliance. Fill empty space in your appliances with carrier bags filled with newspaper. Alternatively, fill the fridge up with plastic bottles filled.
- Defrost your freezer regularly to keep it running at top performance
Have a look in your freezer. Can you see over 1cm thickness of ice around the inside, or crystals forming on packages? If the answer is yes, then it’s time to defrost your freezer.
- Washing Machines/Dishwashers/Tumble Driers
If possible, fill up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher: one full load uses less energy than two half loads. Washing machine temp at 30 C
Use saucepan lids as water will boil much more quickly and match the size of the cooking ring to the size of the saucepan to avoid heating air. Try cooking several different foods on one ring with a steamer.
Heating and insulation
- Turn the thermostat down by 1 degree
Just a simple action such as turning your heating thermostat down by just a single degree could help you save 10% on your energy bills – around £45 per year for a typical household.
- Fit individual radiator thermostats (TRV’s) – cost about £6-8 each
Installing the valves is a great way to control individual radiators in a room. They work most effectively when kept at a constant level; to prevent anyone from changing the level you can activate the locking device or fit a protective cap. Fitting individual radiator thermostats could save you between £10 and £20 a year!
- Draughtproof single-glazed windows & doors
There are many products available to help you insulate your home yourself. The cheapest option for hinged casement windows is self-adhesive foam strip which compresses to form a tight seal when the window is closed. However, there are various options available for different types of windows, including spring-seal excluders or brush strips. Even small changes like this around your home can shave up to £20 a year off your heating bill.
- Loft Insulation
It has been estimated that 25% of the warmth your house contains could be leaking from the loft. If you currently have no loft insulation and you install the recommended 270mm depth you could save around £110 a year on your heating bills and nearly 1 tonne of CO2 per year. FREE loft and wall insulation is available to anyone over 70 years old or in receipt of certain benefits, tax credits or allowances. Others can receive a grant to cover up to 50-70% of the cost.
- Install cavity wall insulation
An average grant-aided installation can cost as little as £150 and you’ll find that you will save as much as a third on your heating bills as a result of the work. Even without a grant, the insulation will generally cost less than £500 and you will be able to re-coup this cost in around 3 years. The insulation also has many other benefits, such as creating a more even interior temperature, helping to prevent condensation on walls and ceilings and reducing the amount of heat building up inside your home during summer hot spells. As well as keeping your home warmer in winter, it also provides a cooling effect in hotter weather. FREE loft and wall insulation is available to anyone over 70 years old or in receipt of certain benefits, tax credits or allowances. Others can receive a grant to cover up to 50-70% of the cost.
- Hot Water Cylinder
Your cylinder should be lagged to a depth of 160mm. Ideally you should have a cylinder thermostat that is not set any higher than 60oC.
Chimneys, windows, skirting boards, fireplaces, letterboxes and doors all have the potential to cause drafts or simply provide a conduit for expensive heat loss. Many draft excluders are simple, cheap andcan be fitted bby you – even a sausage dog draft excluder placed by a door makes a difference.