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How to save energy (and money) at home

We all know that saving energy and making better choices is imperative to the earth’s well being at this point, and as homeowners and landlords this can also have a knock on effect on our monthly spending and budgets. We’ve rounded up some simple and effective ways for you to save energy and money in your own homes.

Be a bright spark

One of the key ways we can save energy at home is to focus on electricity usage. Whilst electricity isn’t necessarily cheaper than gas, it is more efficient and more readily utilised across a wide range of places in the home. Electricity usage can easily sneak up the scale of expensive household bills, so how do we go about saving electricity?

  • Turn off household appliances when not in use, even if they’re left in standby mode appliances will still consume a surprising amount of energy.
  • Purchase energy efficient appliances, A rated, and upwards, appliances are better for your wallet and better for the planet.
  • Utilise energy-saving light bulbs, such as LED, energy savers or halogen lights for outside, also consider placing security lights on timers or sensors so they are only in use when they’re needed. Install dimmer switches on internal lights which will reduce energy consumption and set the mood in the evening.
  • Wash clothes at a lower temperature, 30 degrees of less. “washing clothes at 30 degrees uses around 40% less electricity over the course of a year compared to higher temperatures
  • Air-dry your laundry rather than tumble-drying it, but if you do use a tumble dryer take your clothes out of the dryer before they’re completely dry – they’ll iron much easily, and you’ll use less energy on your drier. Double the savings!

 

Take your foot off the gas

Reducing our reliance on fossil fuels will not only benefit your budget bottom line but will also reduce the size of the carbon footprint you produce. There are a few ways you can go about this:

  • Install a smart thermostat, meaning you can easily track your consumption and control the whole homes heating.
  • turn down your thermostat, “turning your room thermostat down by just one degree will save around £80 on your energy bill
  • Install a new energy efficient and up to date boiler. No boiler is ever 100% efficient sadly but the newer A rated ones are 90% efficient, which is a vast improvement on older products (G Rated boilers are only 65% efficient for example)
  • If you have a home with a water cylinder, consider placing insulation around this tank to reduce the amount of gas (or electricity) you use to heat the water inside.

Be smart about water

The average UK household uses 330 litres of water every day, between dripping taps, large cistern sizes,

  • Try not to needlessly waste water by leaving taps or showers running when you’re not using them, take shorter showers and shallower baths.
  • Kettles use a lot of energy to boil water, however if you only boil as much water as you need, you can reduce the energy consumption drastically over time.
  • Use less water when you wash by fitting aerator tap and shower head fittings.
  • If you are lucky enough to own a swimming pool or hot tub, keep them covered when not in use and the trapped heat will mean less energy used to warm them up when you do decide to opt for a dip.

 

Make your building energy efficient

A great way to improve the value of your home long term and save money on utilities right away is to invest in upgrading your homes energy efficiency. You can do this in several ways:

  • Invest in double glazing, or secondary glazing to reduce the amount of heat lost through drafty, single glazed or wood framed windows. If you live in a period property you can usually apply to fit secondary glazing internally to help if you are unable to replace your windows with UPVC units.
  • Insulate the loft, walls and water pipes, this is self-explanatory and should be done in all homes to some degree. But taking the time to cover pipes with lagging, rolling out insulation in your loft and boarding it, and getting you walls cavity insulated will all make a drastic difference to the warmth of your home.
  • Apply for an energy saving grant, there are many ways you might be able to save or recoup some money towards making your home more efficient or towards your utility bills.
  • Draft proofing windows and doors with tape and excluders will help stop a chill whistle through your home on a windy evening. Meaning you can also close off rooms you don’t wish you use and heat.