We’re always told about our impact on the environment when it comes to the amount of energy we use. We also know just how many energy saving hints and tips there are on the Internet, and indeed, a Google search will display pages of information all containing hints and tips.
If you want and need to save energy and certainly reduce those energy bills saving you hundreds of pounds every year, then you’ve come to the right place.
We’ve trawled through the volumes of information which have been pulled together by energy providers, government bodies and renewable energy experts to provide you with 30 of the best ways to save energy and protect our planet.
Whether you’re a homeowner looking to become energy savvy and reduce your bills, a company looking at best practice as well as cutting costs, or you’re in need of a new gas installation altogether; the tips below will help you to be more comfortable in your surroundings and create a more energy efficient property.
We all want to play our part in protecting the environment, helping to save the world from our dwindling supply of natural resources and cut down on pollution. Ultimately, we want to work together to fight the effects of climate change.
Two small changes we can all make immediately when it comes to lights include:
1a. Switch your standard light bulbs to energy efficient ones. Lasting up to 10 x longer than ordinary bulbs and saving you around £55 over the lifetime of the bulb!
1b. Do you need all of the lights on in your house? The answer is probably not, look to set timers and get everyone in the habit of turning them off.
- Fill your fridge
Now, we’re not saying your refrigerator and freezer always has to be filled with food to keep it at its most energy efficient. It can be packed out with ice and other materials to make the cooling system think that it is full, hence using less energy. Also, make sure that door seals around the fridge are also secure, and no air can get in or out. Make sure to dust your fridge coils too, helping them to stay like new for longer and again increase their energy efficiency.
- Turn down the dial on your washing machine and dryer
Again, just like filling your fridge, make sure that when you put a load of washing in, you’re putting in a “full” load and where possible wash them at 30 degrees (40 if necessary) – as 90% of a washing machines energy expenditure is spent on heating the water!
When it comes to your dryer, again make sure you’re loading only full loads and make sure to keep your dryer lint filters clean. Also, avoid over drying and even stop the cycle early, while still taking advantage of the heat inside the dryer.
- Turn the power off at the source
Making sure equipment like computers, laptops, toasters, TV’s, etc. are turned off at the power outlet rather than just left on standby can save a considerable amount of energy. For example, if you do turn the power off at the socket, it can cut the amount of energy consumed by 10%.
- Invest in solar panels
Solar panels can save as much as a third on electricity bills and also due to government initiatives in some cases these can also be installed for free!
- Dishwasher friendly
Most households now have a dishwasher as standard, making sure your dishwasher is full and washing it on an economy wash is a great energy saving tip!
- Look for energy efficient appliances
Replacing your old appliances for more energy efficient ones (A++) not only helps to reduce your carbon footprint but you can also save a whopping £241 per year!
- Use smart technology
There isn’t anything that technology can’t offer us now and managing our electricity usage is one of them. Set timers and turn lights on and off as you need them all through your phone and more.
- Switch suppliers
We can’t emphasise this point enough throughout the list of tips! Switching electricity suppliers is one of the most significant ways to save money on your bills.
- Make your own electricity
Not such a widely used or known concept yet, however, the possibility of small wind turbines available to generate electricity for properties is most certainly on the horizon – home renewable energy is our future.
- Swap a bath for a shower
Saving not only a lot of water but a lot of energy too, having a quick 4-6-minute shower uses a quarter less water than a bath!
- Turn off the tap
It’s human nature to keep taps running while we are brushing our teeth, shaving, washing our hands, etc. But it is also a huge waste of water. Make sure when you’re not directly using it to turn those taps off!
- Fix dripping taps
Make sure that if you tap is dripping, even if this is ever so slightly you get them fixed. A leaking tap wastes up to 15 litres of water per day or 5,500 litres of water per year!
- Smart installations
When it comes to cost saving as well as helping the environment, you could look to install water efficient shower heads (some of these can save 50% on water and energy), taps (saving 4% water per year, so approximately £20 off a £500 water bill), and toilets (saving 20% on water per year and about £100 off a £500 water bill).
- Use a watering can
We tend to hear this a lot throughout the summer months when hosepipes are the most regularly used household items to water gardens and plants (we even use them to fill swimming pools). However, moving from a hosepipe to a watering can save on water, and watering gardens and plants early morning or late evening helps to reduce evaporation, so gardens and plants absorb the water they need, hence requiring less.
- Only use what you need
When it comes to boiling water in the kettle, for example, it might seem easier to fill the kettle once, but every time you flick that switch to re-boil it, it wastes an awful amount of energy and costs you more each and every time.
- Steam your veggies and cut down on your meat
Overall this is a great thing for our planet, helping to cut down on water usage, and you get more of the vegetable’s natural nutrients. Rearing for meat and dairy is also incredibly water intensive, so where we can let’s go green!
- Reduce food waste
With over 7 million tonnes of food and drink coming from UK households binned each year, which could have been eaten, look to cut down your food waste and save up to £480 annually.
- Put water in the fridge
Make sure to fill up some jugs or spare water bottles with water from the tap and put them in the refrigerator to stay cold. This avoids the need to overrun the tap until the water is cold enough for you to drink.
- Install a water meter
Installing a water meter means you pay a fixed bill, you only pay for the water you use, and it helps to monitor your usage much more carefully, making you fully aware of your consumption. You can also save over £100 per year from these meters.
- Use the right pan
We’re not insulting anyone’s cooking skills here but instead making the point that using a 6-inch pan on an 8-inch burner, for example, wastes approximately 40% of the heat produced by the burner, making it extremely inefficient.
Insulation offers a great alternative solution to keeping your house warm, other than popping the central heating system on…again! The government is also running a great free cavity wall and loft insulation scheme too, so more people can take advantage of lowering their energy bills! It’s estimated that approximately 25% of the heat in your home could be lost through your loft if not properly insulated!
- Adjust your thermostat
Turning your thermostat down even ever so slightly can make a significant impact. To help, you could also look to install smart meters, where you can programme your thermostat to come on at certain times and once it has hit the maximum room temperature you have set it at, it will automatically turn off. Turning your thermostat down by 1 degree could save you between £75 and £90 per year.
- Think about your radiators
Do all of your radiators need to be on? Do some rooms get the sun during the day, so no need for a radiator to be on? Also make sure not to put furniture in front of radiators as it will absorb the heat, and make sure to bleed radiators regularly to get rid of any trapped air.
- Check for draughts
Draughts mainly come from doorways and to help is the wonderful yet straightforward invention of draft excluders. Make sure you’re not losing heat, especially when keeping the draught out could save you up to £35 per year on your energy bill.
- Use your waste
Be aware of just what you throw out and which compartments you keep your household waste in. For example, a lot of our sewage can be turned into natural gas and last year alone it accounted for 14% of household’s renewable energy.
- Take care of your oven
We can waste a lot of heat by the way we use our ovens (but they’re also a great way to help heat our homes too). Making sure you reheat any leftovers in the microwave rather than the oven helps to reduce energy consumption, as well as not opening the oven door when cooking!
- Insulate your water pipes and water tank
Insulating the pipes nearest the tank, as well as the tank itself can help to cut heat loss by up to 75%, and it could save you up to £100 per year on your energy bill.
- Look at new installations
Moving suppliers is a great way to help reduce your energy bills. Make sure to find a provider who can help you with new gas installations and making the switch seamless. Reports state that switching energy suppliers can save up to £169 per year!
- Replace old inefficient boilers with new ones
Looking to upgrade or replace your boiler? Upgrading from an old G-rated gas boiler to a new A-rated condenser model could save you up to £200 a year from your gas bill.
These are just some of the ways in which we can all play our part in helping our planet.
Reducing our energy consumption while at the same time providing cost-effective ways to save money – seems like the ultimate win-win.
Read the next article on Common Myths About Natural Gas.