How can you save electricity at home?
You may be looking for ways to reduce your consumption to help with your bills. Saving energy is also important for reducing your carbon emissions to help to fight climate change.
We’ve gathered some of the most common tips and tricks to create an ultimate guide to saving energy.
Turn off appliances that are on standby
Electronic devices still use electricity when they are on standby, or even switched off while still plugged in. These are known as vampire devices, which can cost you over £100 a year. A common culprit is leaving things like mobile phones plugged in after they’ve finished charging. To avoid this unnecessary electricity usage, remember to unplug all devices or turn them off at the wall. Using power strips or smart plugs makes it easier to turn multiple things off at once.
Upgrade to energy saving appliances
If you need to replace larger appliances, always look for ones with a high energy efficiency rating, as this can make a big difference. This can apply to anything that uses large amounts of electricity such as washing machines, fridges, freezers, and TVs.
A quick switch you can make to more energy efficient appliances is to swap your lightbulbs to LEDs. LED lights use 85% less energy than typical halogen bulbs, and changing all of your lights to LED bulbs will save around 63kgs of carbon emissions each year.
Save electricity in the kitchen
Most of your high-usage appliances will be found in the kitchen, so here are some ways you can save energy to reduce your carbon emissions along with your bills.
Only fill the kettle with as much water as you need
It takes 0.2kWh to boil a full, average-sized kettle, which can usually hold over eight cups of water. If you only need one or two cups at a time, lots of energy will be wasted by heating up more water than needed.
Keep the oven door closed while you’re cooking
It might sound obvious but keeping the oven door closed while it is on is a good way to save energy. Each time you open the oven door, heat energy is lost, meaning it will take more time and energy to get back up to the desired temperature. You could also turn the oven off just before your cooking time finishes, as the oven will stay hot for at least a few minutes.
Cooking on the hob or using a microwave also uses less energy than cooking in the main oven.
Wash your clothes at 30 degrees
Washing your clothes on a cooler cycle is often a good way to save energy (check care instructions on individual items of clothes to make sure a cooler wash is suitable). Waiting until you have a full load of laundry before using the washing machine can also reduce your energy usage by cutting down on the number of times you do laundry in a week.
Air dry your laundry rather than tumble drying
Tumble dryers use 4.5kWh per cycle, so it’s better to air dry your clothes where possible.
Get a smart meter fitted
You might not think that getting a smart meter will help you to save energy, but by showing your energy usage in real time you can see exactly what you’re using and spending. This allows you to see the effect that changes you make to your daily life have on your energy consumption.
Save energy on heating your home
Warmer summer weather gives us all a welcome break from using the heating. But it’s always good to remember these things for when the season turns.
Use a smart thermostat and put your heating on a timer
With a smart thermostat, you can change the temperature for individual rooms, so you can just heat the room you’re in. This coupled with a heating timer means you can set when your heating comes on to ensure you’re not heating an empty home.
Don’t block radiators with curtains or furniture
If you have furniture in front of your radiators, it stops a lot of the heat energy from entering the room, so you’ll end up putting the heating on longer or at a higher temperature to feel the benefit.
Ensure your home is well insulated
Even if your heating system is efficient, heat will still be lost if your home is poorly insulated. This could mean installing cavity wall or loft insulation or double glazed windows. If you cannot make large changes to your property, you can use draught excluders or thick curtains to keep your property warm.
Heating and cooling rooms
As well as helping to keep your house warm in winter, having insulation will also help to keep the house cool in warmer weather. But there are other ways to make sure the temperature stays comfortable in your house so you don’t have to use as much energy running fans or heaters.
When the temperature outside is higher than inside, keep your windows shut and shade windows or shut curtains on the side of the house that faces the sun. During colder months, close curtains as soon as it gets dark to reduce the amount of heat energy that escapes through the windows.
If you’re struggling with your energy bills, you can contact 0808 223 113 for free and impartial advice, or visit our Citizens Advice page for more information.