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Energy saving tips

With energy prices rising, it’s important to be aware of where you can save on energy. Below are some tips and tricks that could help you make savings on your energy bills this winter.

1. Know how much energy your appliances are using

You can use this calculator to help you understand how much money your appliances cost to use and which ones cost the most.  

The chart below breaks down the costs of running appliances in your home for a typical single use (under the government’s Energy Price Guarantee). Bear in mind that some of your appliances are extremely cost-effective to run e.g. the average kettle only costs 5p to boil for a single use, so there is no need to avoid using any and all energy. You can use the chart to become more aware of what uses up more energy in your home. 

2. Turn your thermostat down by 1 degree

For each degree you cut the thermostat, expect to cut bills by about 4%, or about £100 a year on average for a typical home. The Energy Saving Trust recommends heating your home to between 18 – 21°C during winter. Don’t go below 18°C if you are elderly, ill, or have small children.

Age UK suggests the elderly heat their main living areas to 21°C, while heating the rest of their home to at least 18°C.

3. Optimise your washing machine, dishwasher, kettle and tumble dryer

Doing a full load in your washing machine or dishwasher every other day is more efficient than doing half-loads, and uses less energy. (If you wash up by hand, use a bowl and not a running tap). For kettles, only boil the amount of water you need. Avoid using tumble dryers as they use lots of energy – air dry your clothes if possible.

And for all appliances, use eco mode where you can to save energy.

4. Optimise fridge and freezer use

Defrost fridges and freezers regularly and don’t leave the door open longer than necessary. Don’t put warm food into a fridge or freezer as it makes them work harder – allow food to cool down first.

5. Replace regular light bulbs with low energy ones

Replace old style lightbulbs withLED lightbulbs as they use about half the energy of the bigger fluorescent spiral 'energy-saving bulbs'.

6. Dodge the draught!

Fit draught excluders on doors, letter boxes, key holes and close curtains at night to keep heat in.

7. Don’t leave things on standby

Don’t leave things switched on when they’re not needed such as lights, or appliances on standby.

8. Cut shower time by 1 minute

Cutting just a minute off your shower time could save £207 a year in energy bills, and a further £105 a year in water bills if you have a meter – £312 a year for an average four-person household.

9. Keep lids on saucepans when cooking

Keeping the lids on saucepans will keep the heat in the food, and you’ll be able to turn down the gas or electricity and save money. Also make sure to use the right size ring for the saucepan you are using.

10.  Use the microwave instead of the oven when you can

If you can use your microwave instead of the oven to cook certain foods, do. They use less energy than ovens because they only heat the food, not the air around it. E.g. for a jacket potato, cooking it in the microwave uses 25% of the energy it takes to cook it in the oven.

11.  Don’t cover radiators with furniture or curtains

Check furniture isn’t too close to radiators or storage heaters, this blocks heat from the rest of the room. Tuck curtains behind the radiator and close internal doors at night.