We asked Chris Appleby, digital content manager for our customer and partner Ecotricity, to share his top tips for keeping energy use under control. Here Chris divulges his six energy “hotspot” areas of the home to keep an eye on.
1. Turn off standby
You can save up to £30 a year just by turning your appliances off at the mains. Remember to unplug your phone, tablet, or laptop once they’re fully charged – that way, you avoid using unnecessary energy and your battery life will last longer.
- Most electrical appliances can be turned off at the plug without affecting their programming.
- You could also opt for a standby saver which allows you to turn all your appliances off standby in one go.
- If you’re unsure - check the instructions. You may need to keep things like your satellite recorders like Sky, BT or Virgin boxes on standby so they can keep track of any programmes you want to record. We’d hate for you to miss your favourite TV shows!
2. Turn your heating down
Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves in each room (TRVs) will allow you to;
- Set your heating and hot water to come on and off when you need it, so you don’t waste energy when you’re out of the house.
- Only heat the rooms that need heating – think about turning off radiators in guest bedrooms that aren’t being used.
Set the temperature for each area of your home – you can stay warm and cosy in your living room if you keep the temperature around 20°C, and your bedrooms a bit cooler around 16°C.
3. Turn off lights & fit energy saving light bulbs
You can save up to £49 on your annual energy bills by switching off the lights and switching to energy saving light bulbs.
- Turn off your lights when you leave a room.
- Lighting our homes makes up about 10-15% of our annual energy bills, switching from traditional bulbs to energy saving bulbs can reduce this by a quarter.
4. Do laundry on a cool wash
You could save up to £52 a year just by dropping to a 30°C wash.
- Lots of washing detergents these days are just as good at cleaning your clothes at 30oC as 40oC or 60oC – you could always run a hotter cycle once in a while to keep your washing machine sparkling.
- Hang your washing out to dry (assuming it’s not raining of course) or use a free-standing airer, instead of a tumble dryer.
5. Block up those draughts
According to Which?, you can save up to £20 a year by draught proofing windows and doors.
- For your windows, consider fitting draught-proofing strips or brush strips for sash windows.
- For the doors, draught-proofing strips for gaps around the edges, and brush or hinged-flap draught excluders on the bottom of doors – you can find these on Ethical Superstore or John Lewis or you can get creative and make one.
For an even bigger saving you could always consider professional draught-proofing.
6. Save energy in the kitchen
You can save up to £31 a year by using your kitchen appliances more efficiently.
- By using a bowl when washing up instead of keeping the tap running you could save up to £25 a year.
- By only filling the kettle with the amount of water that you need rather than filling it up and save around £6 a year – the more water you heat up the more energy it uses up.
- Use a microwave to heat your food – a microwave is far more efficient than using a traditional gas or electric hob when heating up small amounts of food.
- Use a kettle before the stove – when boiling anything like vegetable on stove, boil the water in a kettle first and then transfer it to the pan. Just be careful not to heat the pan up too much when there’s nothing in it.
- Don’t open the oven too soon - you’ll let out hot air and waste energy. If you can, take a look through the oven door instead and see if your food looks ready.
- Batch cooking – this is a great way to save money on ingredients and energy. Cooking a few meals at the same time means you’ll only need to use the stove or the oven once. This saves time and energy.
In 1995, Ecotricity became the first green electricity supplier in the UK and now remains Britain’s greenest energy supplier. Triodos Bank has supported Ecotricity since we helped finance its first turbine, at Lynch Knoll in Gloucestershire. Over 20 years later, we're still working closely together. Ecotricity now operates 74 wind turbines across 24 wind parks all over the country, providing enough green electricity to power over 44,000 homes and businesses each year.
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