Whether you want to lessen your impact on the environment or if you simply want to save money, saving energy in your home can be hugely beneficial. Reducing any energy consumption in and around your property will help you to make a difference to your bills, so don’t shy away from making positive changes to your routines, as every little change will make a difference over time.
1.Don’t leave appliances on standby
Leaving your appliances, such as televisions, games consoles and stereos on standby can eat up electricity and make your bills higher. Try to turn off any electronic items that you’re not using and unplug them if possible. This is especially important when you go away – leave your fridge/freezer running during this time and use timer plugs for lighting if you want to make sure they come on at certain times for security reasons.
2.Ensure you are well insulated
Insulating your home (and your roof space in particular) can make it much easier to heat and will ensure that you’re not losing energy through the heat-exchange that will naturally happen when your home isn’t properly ‘sealed’. You can insulate your own loft space easily and relatively cheaply by using insulating material from any good DIY store.
3.Upgrade to double or triple glazing
If your property has single-glazed windows, it may be worth thinking about having these replaced with double or triple glazing. This can not only help you to keep heat inside your home but will also help with security – your insurance premiums may be lower if your windows are replaced with more modern, secure units – giving you savings on both energy and premiums.
4.Change your energy company
Many people tend to stick with the same energy company for years, thinking that it’s far too much hassle to switch. However, homeowners and tenants are changing their suppliers all the time and the energy companies will have processes in place to help the move go smoothly. It usually takes around 2- 6 weeks. Check out this guide from Which? – it gives you an overview of what you need in order to switch and how to do so.
5.Waste less food
Do you find yourself throwing away a lot of food, either because you make too much or because you don’t get round to eating it on time? Reducing the amount you cook is a good way to combat this waste, as is planning your meals carefully. The next time you do a food shop, check what you have in your cupboards first, think about the food requirements of your household and only buy what you need. If you can freeze leftovers and pre-prepped food items for use at a later date, then this can also help, as not only will you be saving money on food you would have otherwise thrown away, but you’ll also be helping your freezer to run more efficiently (full freezers use less energy than empty ones).
6.Cook meals in a more energy-saving way
Think about the energy you’re using when you cook meals, as you could be wasting more electricity and gas than you realise. If you’re using the oven, for instance, then why not cook more than you need and then freeze or reuse it? For instance, if you’re cooking a sausage casserole, you could cook the rest of the sausages in the packet on a different oven shelf and use these for sandwiches the next day. This saves having to put the oven on twice.
7.Consider renewable energy options
Installing something like solar panels or a small wind turbine on your property is a large initial investment (solar panels can cost between £5,000 and £8,000), but they can generate and save around £755 per year. What’s more, if you generate more electricity than you can use, you could sell it back to the grid – meaning you could be making money rather than simply saving it!
8.Dry clothing without a tumble drier
Tumble driers, while convenient, use up a lot of energy and many households do without one at all. While it may feel like you couldn’t live without one now, you may be surprised at how easily you can fall into a new routine. Dry clothing on racks near to open windows or dry them outside when the weather is nice if you can. If you feel that you really need your tumble drier for some items (such as bedding), then work out if owning a drier would be cost effective against using your local laundrette. You may be surprised at how much money and energy you could save with a little forward planning.
9.Reduce the amount of water you use
By cutting back on your water use, you could save a lot of money on your water bills. This only really works if you are on a water meter, so it’s best to check this first. The general rule is that, if you have as more people in your home than there are bedrooms, then you are probably better off not being on a water meter. You can cut back on your water bills by taking shorter showers instead of baths, using a water butt to collect water for your garden plants, and not running the tap whilst cleaning your teeth, among other things. You can find some of the best water saving tips here.
10.Turn your thermostat down
While it may seem like a pointless exercise, turning your thermostat down by just a couple of degrees can make a big difference to your energy bills, particularly over the winter months. For those who have a separate thermostat for both water and heating, both of these can be turned down by a couple of degrees in order to make some savings. Even just one degree is enough to make a big impact; the Energy Saving Trust estimates that you could save up to £90 per year and over 300kg of carbon dioxide by doing just this.
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