Home energy efficiency can save you money, help you improve your living conditions, and reduce your impact on the environment.
By cutting down on the energy used in your home through better insulation and energy saving devices you can still keep warm and comfortable whilst reducing your fuel bills.
Energy saving tips
- Turning your thermostat down by 1°C could cut your heating bills by 10 per cent and save you around £30 per year.
- Is your hot water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat on your hot water tank shouldn’t need to be set higher than 60°C / 140°F.
- If possible have a shower rather than fill a bath with hot water. A shower uses four times less hot water than a bath.
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat from escaping through the windows.
- Always turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Don’t leave appliances on standby and remember not to leave them on charge unnecessarily.
- If you’re not filling up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher, use the half load or economy programme. If buying a new appliance check the Energy Efficiency Label and try to choose an A band appliance and the Energy Saving Recommended Logo.
- Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the element if you’re using an electric kettle).
- A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to half fill a bath, so fix leaking taps and make sure that they’re turned off.
- Replace your light bulbs with energy saving ones - just one can reduce your lighting costs by up to £78 over the lifetime of the bulb - and they last up to 12 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.
Low energy lighting
Low energy light bulbs are essentially fluorescent tubes bent into a shape to fit into an ordinary light fitting. They use around a quarter to a fifth of the electricity used by an ordinary light bulb. Although they cost more, this is outweighed by the fact they last for many years. This means that they save you time and trouble in not having to replace bulbs every few months, as well as reducing your electricity bill.
The best places are in rooms where the lights are on a lot. In these rooms you can get your money back in a year or less. In rooms which are used less, it will take longer to get your money back - but, because they can last 10 to 15 times as long as ordinary bulbs, it is almost always worth doing. The lifespan of the bulbs will be shorter in rooms where you switch the lights on and off a lot, but not enough to worry about. There is no simpler way of taking practical action in the home to save energy.
You can replace pendant lights, spotlights, candle lights, globe lights, lights in lampshades - pretty much any type of light with a compact fluorescent light (CFL). You can even get them in colour. Screw fittings are also more common than bayonet fittings for spotlights. The trick is in finding the bulb you need!