Energy saving tips

There are many things you can do to increase the energy efficiency of your home and reduce your bills. Here is just a selection of them. If you want to find out more, we recommend you check out the Energy Saving Trust.

Once you become a low energy consumer then our EquiGas and EquiPower plans could be right up your street, with their zero standing charges.

Saving Money in the Loft

Insulation

  • Insulate your hot water tank: Buying a jacket for your water tank will only cost £10-£15 but with annual savings up to £35 a year, it pays for itself in months. Also make sure that if it has a thermostat it is not set to any higher than 60oC and you can save even more.
  • Exposed hot water pipes: insulate them and you could save an additional £10 per year
  • Cavity wall insulation: if you have unfilled walls then a good deal of your energy bills will be spent heating the air outside – in fact up to £160[1] a year. Grants are available from the Government, energy suppliers and your local authority, so check out what is on offer.

Renewables

  • Go solar: Consider using solar panels heat your hot water or benefit from feed-in tariffs that can give you extra income as a result of the energy they generate. South-facing solar water heating panels can generate up to 60% of your hot water needs
Saving Money in the Bathroom

Showers

  • Water Efficient Shower Head; If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from the boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), fit a water efficient shower head. This could save up to £67 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £100 on water bills if you have a water meter[2]
  • Linger less: spending one less minute in the shower each day will save £10 off your energy bills each year, per person. With a water meter this will save a further £15 off annual water and sewerage bills.

Taps

  • Dripping hot taps can add to your heating costs. Get them repaired before it all adds up.
Saving Money in the Living Room

Radiator

  • Turn down your heating by 1oC and cut up to £90 off your energy bill.
  • Drying clothes: Don’t dry your clothes on the radiator. It makes your boiler work much harder and makes the air more humid and feel colder
  • Layer up: Instead of turning up the heating, put on another layer of clothing. This will reduce your heating bill.
  • Time it right: Set your heating to go off 30 minutes before you leave the house, and come on again 30 minutes before you come home.
  • Foil up: Putting reflective foil behind your radiators will reflect heat back into the room and increase the efficiency of your radiators. Their performance will also be improved if there is no furniture in front of them.

Stand by

  • Stay off stand by: Turn off at the socket and save up to 8% of your electricity bill
  • Mobiles: Don’t leave them charging all night. You are wasting electricity and reducing their battery capacity at the same time.
  • Stand by savings: You can save around £30 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode. Almost all electrical and electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. Check their instructions first but some satellite and digital TV recorders may need to be left plugged in so they can keep track of any programmes you want to record.

Curtains

  • Double glazing: Keep the heat in and the noise out. Replacing your single glazing could save around £160 annually.[3]
  • Curtains: Close them as soon as it starts to get dark, to lock in the heat and keep your house warm.
Saving Money in the Kitchen

Energy efficient appliances

  • All new kitchen appliances are given an energy-efficient rating between A and G, where A uses the least energy. Since July 2012, all new appliances must have a minimum rating of A+, and many are rated A++.

Kettle

  • Only fill it with the water you need and save around £7 a year

Washing up

  • Use a bowl rather than a running tap and save up to £30 a year on energy bills

Saucepans

  •  Keep a lid on it and only use the water you need
  • Chunk Up: Cut food into smaller pieces to help it cook faster. Put lids on your saucepans to stop the heat escaping and reduce cooking time.
  • Always use the correct size ring for the size of the pan you are using.

Fridges

  • Replace your old one with a new Energy Saving version and use 60% less electricity
  • Defrost: fridges and freezers regularly to improve their efficiency and vacuum clean the coils at the back to allow the heat to escape.
  • Keep it closed: Try not to leave your fridge door open. Each minute the door is open takes three minutes of energy to cool down again.
  • Fill them up: Try to keep the fridge and freezer three quarters full and defrost them regularly. You can put empty bottles of water in your fridge to fill them up if empty. Keeping your freezer fairly full can save you up to 40% of its energy use.
  • Don’t cool it: Never put hot food in your fridge or freezer as it makes it work harder than it needs to.
  • Don’t go low: Make sure to set your thermostat to the correct temperature –if it’s too low your appliance will use more energy, and may cause your food to go bad quickly.

Washing machine

  • Wash cooler: 85% of the energy that a washing machine uses goes towards heating the water, so switch to a cooler wash. Washing at 30C uses a third less electricity. Modern washing powders are now designed to be more effective at lower temperatures.
  • Fill it up: Put full loads in your washing machine and wait until your dishwasher is full before turning it on. De-scaling these appliances will also help them run more efficiently.
  • Dry your clothes outside: This way you’ll save energy normally used by your tumble dryer –it can be worth around £15 a year on your electricity bill. In the winter, put your clothes on a clothes-horse rather than on the radiator, as covering the radiator will make your boiler work harder than it needs to.
  • Cut down on a wash per week: just one less weekly cycle with your washing machine will save £5 a year on energy and a further £8 on metered water bills
[1] based on a semi-detached home
[2] based on a four-person household
[3]based on A rated windows in a detached home