With the cost-of-living crisis looming over Britain, homeowners are quickly becoming more aware of ways to cut down on their energy usage, here are our top tips:
Get a smart meter installed
Now is the time to get your energy meters updated. If you haven’t got around to it yet, there’s no problem. It won’t cost you a thing to have smart meters installed – and it will give you useful information about the energy you use every day and how you can efficiently start saving energy around your home.
Top up the insulation
Insulation will help you keep the desired temperature in your house all year round, protecting it against cold in winter and excess heat in summer. A well-insulated house is very energy efficient and will need very little additional heating and cooling.
Switch off standby
Phantom electricity is the power that is consumed by your electronic appliances and devices when they are either on standby mode or entirely turned off, but still plugged in. Phantom power, also known as vampire power or idle current, is estimated to account for almost a quarter of a homeowner’s total energy bill. Unplugging your devices at night or whenever you’re finished using them is a great step towards cutting down your energy bill.
Avoid the tumble dryer
If you already have the heating on, you can probably avoid the tumble dryer by hanging your clothes up on an indoor rack instead. If you do need to use the tumble dryer, set it to the most efficient setting, throw in a dry towel to help speed up the drying process and check your clothes until they dry to avoid the cycle going on longer than necessary.
Draught-proof windows and doors
Unless you’re living in a brand-new home, you will most likely lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor or through the chimney. Professional draught-proofing is fairly affordable and will certainly save you money in the long run, however DIY draught proofing can also be very effective if done properly.
Turn your thermostat down
It’s tempting to turn up the thermostat as the weather cools down but one of the best ways to help save energy, money and the environment during the colder months is to dial down the temperature of your home by 1 or 2 degrees. You might not think such a small amount would make a difference – but lowering the thermostat can save you 10% on your heating bill.
Turn off lights
This might be a given, but as the holiday season rolls around, you could end up spending more on electricity bills than anything else. Remember to switch off those twinkling Christmas lights whenever no one’s around to see them, and you will thank yourself come January.
Swap your bath for a shower
It can be tempting after a long day out in the cold to come home to a hot bath, but this can quickly turn into a regular habit over winter, and your water bill will reflect this. Try to keep baths to a minimum and opt for a quick shower instead.
Be energy aware in the kitchen
Kettles are high on the list of most used appliances in the kitchen, and many of us are guilty of boiling the kettle with more water than we need. By not overfilling the kettle each time you use it, you’ll save on electricity and water. You could also consider fitting an aerator onto your kitchen tap to reduce the volume of water coming out, without having an impact on how it washes or rinses. These are cheap and easy to install, and you won’t notice they’re there.
Fill up the dishwasher
Make sure the dishwasher is completely full before letting it run. This tactic could save you more water than washing the dishes from the sink, as you will need to do it less frequently and the dishwasher will be able to use the water efficiently.