Make your home heating more efficient

13 ways to save energy at home

If you’re looking for ways to reduce your costs, take a look at our top tips for cutting your energy consumption down to size. And why not also check out our saving energy blogs at the bottom of the page?

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Lights: Could you get into the habit of turning lights off when you leave a room? A family could save between £50 and £90 a year just by remembering to turn things off, if they don't already do this. (Source: Energy Savings Trust, October 2013).

Showers: How about replacing a soak in the bath with a shower once a week? You’ll be surprised how much energy you could save this way.

Washing machines: Check out your washing machine’s settings, see if there’s a ‘half load’ option for small amounts of clothes. With modern washing powders, you can usually choose a lower temperature on your washing machine too.

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Water temperature: Check the thermostat on your boiler, see what the temperature settings are for hot water and think about turning it down just a couple of degrees. That will make a difference to the amount of energy you’re using.

Heating: Reduce the temperature in your home by just 1ºC and you could reduce your heating bill by up to £85 each year. So if you've got yours higher than 21ºC turn the thermostat down just a little and see if you notice any difference (it'll take a few hours to adjust). Remember, the recommended temperature is 18ºC - 21ºC and 21ºC for young children and older people.

Radiators: Switch off radiators in the rooms you’re not using regularly and keep internal
doors shut. Otherwise, draughts and poorly insulated windows will mean you’re burning energy 

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Electrical goods: When you leave mobile phones, laptops and iPod chargers on standby, they could still be using energy. Switching them off and unplugging them once they’re fully charged is a great way to be more energy efficient. And remember – if your charger has an LED to show it’s in use, it’s still using energy until you switch it off at the wall.

Appliances: Do you use a dishwasher? Wait until it’s fully loaded before starting it, and remember that – if you run it overnight – it’ll be using energy until you switch it off in the morning. Why not invest in a timer plug and run it automatically for a shorter period of time instead?

What else can you do to make a difference? open/close 

Climate control? It’s easy

  1. Curtains: Closed curtains prevent warm air escaping from the windows at night, and that helps keep your house warmer for longer
  2. Radiators: Do make sure your radiators aren’t blocked by curtains or furniture – it’s good to make the best of the heat you’re paying for!
  3. Don’t forget: Also, if the sun warms some rooms but not others, leave internal doors open to let the warm air circulate throughout your home.

Fit a jacket to your hot water tank

  1. Treat your boiler to a new insulation jacket - it’ll keep your water hotter for longer and that will reduce your energy bills
  2. If you already have a hot water tank jacket, check it’s the recommended thickness of 75mm
  3. If not, a new one is easy to fit yourself - the materials will only cost you around £25 and you could save around £60 a year!
  4. With those savings, it could pay for itself in just a few months. (Source: Energy Savings Trust, October 2013).

Track how much energy you’re using

  1. Energy monitors help you track how much energy you’re using
  2. They also pinpoint wasteful, inefficient appliances
  3. A monitor will cost somewhere around £50 to £100, but if you spot ways to save energy quickly, this could pay for itself within a year
  4. Energy monitors can be great to help educate your family on energy saving habits, keeping your bills down.

Buy draught excluders

  1. Draught excluders are great for keeping out the chilly draughts that sneak in around your windows and doors
  2. Thermal or heavy curtains help during the winter, as do letter box covers and key hole covers – keeping the cold chills out and the warm air in.

Use energy efficient light bulbs

  1. A new, energy-efficient light bulb uses much less electricity than an old-fashioned bulb
  2. When you swap your old bulbs for new energy-efficient version, you could be saving up to £50 each time over the lifetime of the bulb. (Source: Energy Savings Trust, October 2013)

Remember: the savings you can achieve will depend on what you’re currently doing and how many changes you choose to make.

What's watt?

Like all energy companies, we measure how much energy you’ve used in kilowatt hours (kWh). When you use 1000 watts of energy for 1 hour, that's a kilowatt-hour. To make life easier, we’ve worked out the kWh measurements for some everyday examples so you can see how much energy you’re using.

A kilowatt hour gives you:

  • 9 uses of a kettle

  • 4 hours watching TV

  • 24 hours gaming

  • 286 hours phone charging

  • 27 minutes ironing

  • 31 hours on a laptop

  • 1-2 cycles in a washing machine

  • 80 minutes using a microwave

  • 9 uses of a kettle
  • 4 hours watching TV
  • 24 hours gaming
  • 286 hours phone charging
  • 27 minutes ironing
  • 31 hours on a laptop
  • 1-2 cycles in a washing machine
  • 80 minutes using a microwave

… so, choose your appliances carefully.
Some appliances use more energy in an hour than others. The more energy they use, the more they cost to run.

Tests by Which? – the consumer group – in October 2013 showed that the fridge freezer using the fewest kWh costs just £14 per year to run. But other freezers could cost up to £102 per year to run. Even models with the same energy-efficiency rating can have very different annual running costs. Their tests found two A++ rated washing machines with difference over 30% - that’s £130 – over a five year period. For further information on how energy efficient appliances can help you save money in the long-run. (Source: Which?, October 2013).

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