Energy saving ideas
around the house
Energy saving is becoming increasingly important for UK homes. Fuel prices are rising and we’re becoming more aware of our impact on the environment. Everyone can do their bit, and even a few small changes can help save you money.
There are many statistics around about how savings can be made by using energy more carefully. The website lovefoodhatewaste.com says that the average home throws away £50 worth of uneaten food each month - making the figures really add up.
But the good news is that by taking a few small steps around your home and garden you can easily save energy and money. Here are some top tips to get you started:
1) Wash wisely
Wait until you have a full load before you switch your dishwasher or washing machine on. Many clothing retailers now recommend that you wash your clothes at 30 degrees to save money and energy as using a lower temperature can cut electricity consumption by 41%. If you do only want to wash a few items, many machines have a ‘half load’ setting.
2) Save water
Fancy a drink? Save money and waste by buying a re-usable bottle and water filter to fill up from the tap, rather than reaching for expensive bottled water.
3) Use rainwater
Invest in a water butt and use rainwater for your garden in a watering can, rather than spraying it with a hose. The average roof collects 85,000 litres of rain water each year, so put it to good use. Also, check the weather forecast – maybe you can save time and energy by waiting for a rainy day instead.
4) Don’t waste food
On average we throw away 7.2 million tons of food waste each year. Avoid waste by going through your fridge and checking ‘use by’ dates regularly, carefully measure rice and pasta so you don’t cook too much and make the most of your leftovers. There are lots of great money-saving tips and ideas of what to do with food that’s about to go off at www.lovefoodhatewaste.com
5) Turn your thermostat down
According to energysavingtrust.co.uk you only need to reduce your room temperature by one degree to save £65 a year on your heating bill. If you always have to add cold water in the bath or shower, turn your water heater down, too. Set your heating to come on just before you wake up and remember you don’t need to leave it on up until you leave the house in the morning as it’ll retain the heat.
6) Reduce drafts
Close your curtains as soon as it starts to get dark to keep the heat in and give your windows an ‘MOT’ to check for draughts. Double or triple glazing will stop heat from escaping and draught-proofing is one of the cheapest and most efficient ways of saving energy around the home. Also check under doors and use a home-made draught excluder if there’s a breeze.
7) Turn off!
Get into the habit of turning off the light when you leave the room. It sounds simple, but so many people don’t do it. Don’t leave electrical appliances like the TV or DVD player on standby and only charge mobile phones and laptops when you need to – an overnight charge may be too long and a waste of energy. Encourage your children to get into good habits, too.
8) Don’t boil over
Making a cup of tea? Only boil as much water as you need. And don’t overfill pots and pans with water if you’re boiling vegetables on the hob – smaller amounts of water will take less time and energy to boil and reduce water waste.
9) Insulate your home
Carry out a review of your home insulation. Roof and loft insulation is designed to last 40 years, so check if yours is still doing the job. These days, that’s not the only option as cavity wall and floor insulation can also save money on energy bills. Check the lagging on your tanks and pipes – that can make water easier to heat and help it stay hotter for longer.
10) Check your lightbulbs
Energy saving lightbulbs last up to ten times longer than ordinary ones and according to energysavingtrust.co.uk they can save you around £50 over the lifetime of a bulb. Do you really need a high watt bulb, or could you use a lower one? Shop around for your bulbs, as many shops will reduce the price as an incentive.
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