10 Ten energy efficiency Tips
1. Don’t boil water in a pan
Use your kettle, and then pour it into the pan – it uses far less energy than heating from cold. And don’t fill your saucepan to the top; just use enough water to cover what you’re cooking.
2. Opt for a shower, not a bath
According to the Energy Saving Trust, if everyone in a family of four swapped one bath a week for a five-minute shower, it could save up to £20 a year on their gas bill. And if you spend a minute less in the shower, then you could save an additional £7 per person every year. Consider changing your shower head to an eco version, too. Plus, a family of four can save around £75 a year on gas (and £120 on water if they have a meter).
3. Remember your just-boiled kettle
How many times have you boiled the kettle and walked away, only to come back five minutes later to boil it again? Another good way to save energy is to only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need.
4. Wash at 30
Today’s washing detergents are very effective at 30 degrees, so try to avoid washing laundry on a higher setting. Wait until you have a full load too – that saves on water as well as energy. Use an eco-wash setting if you can.
5. Line-dry when you can
Try to reduce the amount of tumble drying you do – it uses a lot of energy, and line-drying is free!
6. Take control of your heating
Are you heating rooms that aren’t being used? Make sure all your radiators have thermostats on them – and use them. The Energy Saving Trust suggests that turning down your thermostat by just one degree could save around £75 per year.
Also, check whether heat could be leaving your home through gaps. Thick curtains, draught excluders, even a piece of putty in a small gap around a window will help keep the heat in.
7. Use energy-saving lightbulbs
Changing your 40W light bulb to a new energy-efficient 8W could cut your energy usage by around 20 per cent. Also, turning off lights that don’t need to be on is an easy money-saver.
8. Make life easy for your fridge
Clean around the back, as dusty coils can make it work harder. Don’t overfill it and try not to leave the door wide open.
9. Be smart about the washing up
Try to only use one bowl of water when washing up, and avoid rinsing plates as it wastes clean water. If you use a dishwasher, fill it completely before you put it on.
10. Monitor your energy use
Energy suppliers are in the middle of a smart meter rollout, with the goal of offering one to every home in England, Scotland and Wales by 2020. A smart meter shows you how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence. Smart thermostats are also available, such as Nest and Hive, which give you maximum flexibility when it comes to managing your heating. You can even control your heating when you’re out, using your smartphone, tablet or laptop.