Insulation: Energy Saving Tips
There are lots of simple ways to become more energy efficient in the home – many of which don’t cost a penny. In fact, not only are they completely free, they will actually save you money!
Below are our top free energy saving tips. Individually each will make a modest difference, but together add up to significant energy savings.
1. Don't leave appliances on standby. Appliances left on standby are still using a low level of electricity, so turn them off properly before going to bed could save 50kg of CO2 a year and around 8 per cent on your annual electricity bill.
2. Set your hot water to 60°C. For the majority of homes, setting the cylinder thermostat at 60°C/140°F is fine for bathing and washing, so make sure you are not using extra energy to heat this water everyday.
3. Unplug mobile phone chargers. It may be convenient to leave your mobile phone charger plugged into the wall, but if it is switched on, even without the phone attached, it will be using electricity.
4. Turn off lights when a room is not in use. Always switch lights off when you leave an empty room and adjust your curtains or blinds to let in as much light as possible during the day.
5. Don't overfill your kettle. It’s easy to over fill a kettle, but try and only boil the amount of water you need – one cup’s worth is less than you think! Always remember to ensure you boil the minimum amount for the safe use of the kettle – this should be marked on the side of the kettle, but see the manufacturer’s user guide if in doubt.
6. Use cooler programmes to wash your clothes and dishes. Modern washing powders work just as well at lower temperatures, so try and use cooler cycles where possible. Washing full loads will also make each load more economical, or alternatively select the ‘half-load’ or economy programme. The average UK household does 274 loads of washing a year, so the savings really add up!
7. Draw the curtains to keep in heat. Close your curtains at dusk to minimise heat escape through the windows - even in rooms you're not using
8. Take a shower rather than a bath. Water requires a lot of energy to heat it up, so taking a shower (which typically uses just 20% of the hot water required for a bath), is a great way to reduce energy use and cut CO2 emissions by around 200kg per person.
9. Don’t listen to the radio via digital TV. Listening to the radio via a TV can use over ten times more energy than listening through a radio. It is also worth noting that many digital radios use four times the energy of analogue radios, so get back to basics and listen to FM radio for maximum energy-saving benefits.
10. Stick to the speed limit. Watching your speed and driving at 70mph rather than 80mph, not only saves fuel, it cuts CO2 emissions by almost a third. Over half of all drivers admit to regularly exceeding the 70mph limit and 19 per cent exceed 80mph, so between us we could save around one million tonnes of carbon a year by simply watching our speed.
11. Save water in your cistern. Every time a toilet is flushed, the water has to be purified and pumped round again, all of which wastes a huge amount of water and energy. Placing an object such as a brick in the cistern takes up space, reducing the water needed to fill it and saving up to twice as much water as the average person drinks per year.
12. Cut down on junk mail. Every year, 3.5 million trees are cut down to produce half a million tonnes of junk mail. Most of this goes straight into the bin, wasting not just energy, but precious natural resources. Minimise unsolicited mail by registering with the Mailing Preference Service (MPS) and contact Royal Mail to ‘opt out’ of receiving junk mail via their delivery service.
13. Put a lid on saucepans. Cover pans when boiling water to speed up the process and reduce heat wastage. Select a ring appropriate to the size of pan to further improve energy efficiency.
14. Fix dripping taps. A dripping hot water tap can waste enough hot water in one week to half fill a bath, so make sure taps are fully turned off, and repair them if they start to leak.
15. Don’t rely on the tumble drier. Tumble driers use a huge amount of heat energy, so make the most of a bright and breezy day by drying washing outside naturally, or use a drying rack if the weather is unforgiving!