Reducing your energy consumption – and saving on bills – doesn’t have to be complicated.
It doesn’t matter if you’re a homeowner, renter or student, there are lots of things you can do to reduce how much energy you use, and in addition your carbon footprint and how much you spend on bills. Check out our top tips for saving energy in every room of the house – a lot of them are quick, easy and cheap.
In the living room
- Switch off standby power. Leaving TVs, digital set-top boxes and games consoles on standby can cost up to £30 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. If it seems like a lot of effort to methodically turn everything off at the end of the day, consider investing in a power bar or standby saver, so you can turn them all off in one go.
- Switch to energy-saving lightbulbs. Yes, they’re a little more expensive than traditional bulbs but they last a lot longer and will reap savings on your energy bills. According to uSwitch.com, these bulbs could save you up to £32 in energy bills – that’s per bulb per year!
- Be clever with your curtains. This means keeping them away from radiators so that warm air can circulate freely, as well as considering a thicker curtain – or ones with thermal lining – that will help stop heat escaping through windows.
- Draught-proof that chimney if you’re not using it. This will help keep the cold out and save you around £15 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust.
In the kitchen
- Use a bowl or plugged sink to do your washing up rather than a running tap – this will save you up to £25 a year in energy costs.
- Be a careful cook. This means using only as much water as you need, covering your pots and pans so that water boils faster (and uses less energy) and only opening the oven door if it’s absolutely necessary – you don’t want all that lovely heat escaping.
- Use your fridge and freezer efficiently. Never put hot food directly into a fridge or freezer – let it cool first. Don’t keep the door open for extended periods of time, as it’ll have to work harder to cool down afterwards, and make sure there’s a gap of at least 10cm behind your fridge, so that heat can flow away more easily.
In the bathroom
- If your shower takes water straight from your boiler or hot water tank, use a water efficient shower head – this could save you as much as £70 a year on gas for water heating.
- Have a shorter shower. Spending just one minute less in the shower each day will save up to £7 a year on your energy bill. That might not sound like a lot, but if everyone in a four-person household shaved two minutes off their daily shower that would save £56 a year.
- Use cold water instead of hot where it makes sense – you don’t need scalding hot water to wash your hands or brush your teeth (and while we’re on the subject of teeth, make sure you turn the taps off while you’re brushing them).
In the bedroom
- Unless you’re spending a lot of time in your bedroom, keep the curtains closed during the day to prevent heat loss through windows.
- If your bedroom radiator has its own heat controls, make sure they’re turned all the way down during the day – you don’t need to heat a room you’re not in.
- Make the most of soft furnishings. Cosy blankets, a thick duvet and a plush rug will all help keep you warm without the need for additional heating. Bedrooms are supposed to be soft, inviting and relaxing spaces, after all.
- Keep cupboards and wardrobes closed – leaving them open unnecessarily creates extra space to be heated up.
These simple tricks are quick and easy, and they’ll reduce your carbon footprint, which is good news for climate change and your bank balance. Make sure you share them with everyone you live with with so your household is doing the most it can to save energy.
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