This is by no means a complete guide for energy saving their are many things not mentioned here but a lot of them require more time and investment than you could manage in a day so here we are going to focus on quick, simple things you can do that will make a difference from today.
Right now we are spending more time at home than ever and our energy costs are of course rising. So this year more than ever cut your energy costs day has a relevance, let's get into it.
Heating is one of the most expensive things we do in terms of energy costs.
- Turning down your thermostat by just one degree could reduce energy consumption enough to save the average family up to £60.00 a year.
- Open your curtains and blinds during the day and let the sunlight in to heat up the room.
- Close your curtains and blinds at dust to keep the residual heat in.
- Check around doors for draughts, you can easily make a home made draught excluder. Take a look for inspiration online you could even make it into a lockdown project for the kids to help with.
- Don't have items that emit heat near your thermostat, heaters, TV's the rear of a fridge or freezer could all trick the stat into turning off before the room has reached its desired temperature.
While we are discussing appliances lets see how we can cut some costs there.
- One less washing machine cycle per week can save electricity and water.
- Unless really dirty you can reduce the washing temperature of your washing machine and dishwasher, 10°C lower will make a difference and they will still clean effectively.
- Only fill the kettle with as much water as you intend to use and use it as soon as it has boiled.
- Hang dry clothing, a tumble dryer is one of the most expensive home appliances to run.
- Check your fridge and freezer temperatures, optimum temperature for a fridge is around 4°C and a freezer is -18°C. Running at these temperatures will increase efficiency and reduce costs. (check your products handbook for variation)
- Defrost your freezer, as ice builds up it has to work harder and uses more energy to do so.
- Keep appliances clean, even small amounts of dirt can cause energy waste. Clean behind the fridge and freezer and the back of them, dust appliances and clean filters in washing machines and dishwashers. Also lint traps and ventilation pipes on tumble dryers, not only will this make them more efficient but should also prolong their life.
- When cooking in the oven don't keep opening the door, this allows heat to escape and increases cooking time.
- No half loads in washing machines, dryers or dishwashers and make sure that dishwashers are loaded correctly and not overloaded to ensure items are cleaned properly the first time.
- Your fridge works better full so if you are running low on supplies a couple of bowls of water will have the same effect.
- When cooking use lids especially when boiling water, less heat escapes and this in turn will reduce the time you need the hob on for.
Next up let's take a look at water.
- Take a shower instead of a bath, replacing one bath per person per week for a family of four could save the average family around £20 per year.
- One minute less per shower could save the average family between £30-£40 per year.
- A running tap can waste up to six litres of water per minute, turn your tap off while washing, shaving and brushing your teeth.
- When washing up use a bowl and don't leave the tap running.
Finally a few general tips
- Turn your items off at the socket, doing this could save the average household up to £35 per year.
- Switching to LED bulbs can reduce lighting costs considerably. Checkout our guide to LED's to help choose the right ones for you. A saving of over £40 per year is average.
- If it's charged take it off charge. Laptops, tablets, smartphones etc will continue to draw power even when fully charged.
- Bleed your radiators regularly, start today. They will run more efficiently and reduce the amount of energy needed.
- Using rechargeable batteries will save you money and reduce waste.
- Lowering the brightness on your smart phone will make the battery last longer thus reducing the amount of time and frequency of charging.
- Thaw food thoroughly and reduce cooking time.
- Do you really need to print that? If you do try and print on both sides.
- Empty your car boot, don't haul around more than you need that day. More weight uses more fuel.
- Check your tire pressure, the correct pressure will save you fuel.
As I said this is not a complete list by any means, but if you follow even half of these tips you will see a reduction in energy costs.
While this post and today is about saving energy costs there is another great reason to do all you can to reduce your energy consumption.
The environment is suffering more from our behaviour than from any other factor. When you use less power you reduce emissions from power plants. This not only reduces air pollution from greenhouse gases it also reduces the amount of resources needed to generate this power and the environmental impact caused by their extraction.
If we all do a few things to reduce our energy usage we can feel it in our pockets and future generations will feel it in their lungs.