Top Energy Saving Tips
Being green isn’t just about helping to save the planet, and ignore the frog – being green is easy. As well being easy, it can actually save you money too. It’s almost like getting paid, for saving the world (I think Superman could be missing a trick here).
Most of us know that there is probably more that we could be doing around the home, and I don’t mean the ironing. Some of the biggest energy savers cost time as well as money, and we’re trying save energy here not use more of our own! There are a few simple lifestyle changes that we can make, that require very little effort to pull off.
Be more efficient with your heating
• Turning your thermostat down, by just one degree, can save you double figures every year on your bill
• Keeping your heating on, low of course, can actually save money because it takes more energy to get up to temperature than it does to maintain it.
• Jumpers, thick socks and slippers (you knew those christmas presents would come in handy one day) can all make a big difference. If you already feel warm and cosy, you might not be tempted to turn up the heating.
• Power showers use much more water than a regular one, even more than a bath in some cases. Consider turning the pressure down to save some cash that way too.
Learn to be more efficient in the kitchen
• No this doesn’t mean you have to eat instant noodles for the rest of your life. Make better use of your oven and cook more than one meal at a time. We can’t yet heat just one shelf, so why waste all that extra energy just make the air feel warmer?
• Your oven can be your space heater, you know? Once you are finished with it, leave the oven door open. If you have been cooking a large meal, or meals, the oven just may still be hot enough for you to turn the heating down – or prevent you turning it up. Turn off the extractor fan too, unless you burnt everything.
• The dishwasher can help too, since they typically use less water than you might think. To help, just scrape off dishes instead of pre-rinsing.
• Shop more. Seriously, the fuller your fridge or freezer is the less work they have to do. In turn, this helps keep your electricity bill down.
• Use the right gas ring. Your hob has different sized rings, and the most efficient way to use them is by selecting the right pan for the right ring. Also, using a large pan for those tiny instant noodles is a waste. Not of pan, of heat.
Be more efficient with your washing
• The aim here is to shrink your energy bill, not your clothes. Around 90% of the energy used by a washing machine is used to heat the water. If you can still get your clothes clean on a lower temperature, say around 30 or 40 degrees, then you can expect to save quite a fair amount of money over the course of a year. Even a month.
• Abandon the dryer. If you can hang your washing up, do so. The great outdoors is best, and leaves your clothes smelling gorgeous, but if you have the heating on already then will work too.
• Make use of this great ironing ‘hack’. Take down your clothes before they are completely dry. Slightly damp, hot/warm clothes are much easier to iron. Plus you’ll save energy on your dryer if you still use it.
You can be more efficient with your appliances too
• If you aren’t using it, switch it off – don’t just put it on standby. If there is something that you don’t use on a regular basis, unplug it. What many people fail to realise is that plugs continue to draw energy, even if the appliance is turned off – this applies to phone chargers too.
• Get your kids in on it too. No, not as draught excluders (it may work, but just don’t). You can play games with them, like see if they can spot where in the home energy is wasted or what things could be unplugged. Explaining why these things are important can be educational too.
• Open up your house a little bit. If it’s nice and warm out, open the curtains and crack a window or two. This will allow the natural warmth of the outside world warm the centre of yours. If it’s chillier, closing everything again will help retain the heat you just borrowed.
Be more efficient with the whole house
Energy saving light bulbs is an obvious choice, and the right one could last 25 years or more. When choosing a lightbulb look for a description like “B22 bayonet bulbs” – this will tell the size of the fixture, and what kind of light fitting it is suitable for.
Throw a few rugs around. Did you know that rugs were invented to keep nomads warm at night? The same principles can be applied today, and they can look great too. Rugs work by preventing the cold from seeping up from the floor beneath it. Carpets do the same thing of course, but you can always put a rug on a carpet too – putting an extra carpet on your carpet is just silly.
Try putting extra sheets on your bed too, nice and thick ones. If the rest of your home is chilly, there is nothing finer than sliding into a nice warm bed. Of course, getting up in the morning might be trickier but we’re confident you can do it.
These tips are all fairly easy to put into practice (apart from the kid thing, if you don’t have them) and you start seeing the differences almost immediately – especially if you have smart meters installed.
So you see, saving the planet doesn’t have to mean wearing your underpants over your trousers – but what you do in your own is nobody’s business but yours!