What’s in this guide?
- How to make energy and cost savings, no matter your budget.
- Tips and tricks to save money and the environment.
- Facts and figures that may change your energy consumption habits.
Energy saving made simple
Improving your energy efficiency doesn’t have to be difficult. Simple changes can positively impact the environment and save you money. So, we’ve created this guide to share our top tips broken down into specific areas for you to see where saving energy and lowering your costs is possible.
Lighting accounts for 15% of a typical household's electricity bill
- Turn all of the lights off before you leave a room.
- Replace your incandescent light bulbs with compact fluorescent lamp bulbs (CFL) and you can save up to £50.
- LED bulbs are more efficient than CFL's and save almost £30 per bulb per year. LED's usually cost more to buy initially but have long-life expectancies, so you may not need to replace them for up to 30 years.
- Use a sensor and timer on external lights so they are only in use when necessary.
- Keep lights and lighting fixtures clean, especially if you're reducing the number of lights you use. Dirt absorbs light.
It costs more than £25 to boil a full kettle twice a day for a year
- Keep the oven door shut whilst cooking; every time you open it you lose a quarter of the heat.
- Turn your oven off 5 -10 minutes before the stated time in the recipe. The oven will use the built-up heat to finish cooking for those last minutes.
- Use the right size pan with a lid for cooking and boil the water in the kettle first - more than a quarter of electricity is wasted when you cook your food without a lid.
- Only boil as much water as you need in a kettle.
- Treat lime scale build up with vinegar or descaling solutions to make your kettle more efficient.
- Use a microwave if you have one, they use 70% to 90% less energy than ovens.
Choose appliances with high energy ratings to save energy and money. Ratings range from A+++ (most efficient) to D (least efficient).
- Keep your fridge at 3-5C and freezer at -18C.
- Defrost your fridge regularly to keep it running efficiently.
- Try to keep your fridge or freezer away from cookers or heaters.
- Consider downsizing - smaller fridges and freezers use less energy.
Knocking a degree off your thermostat will cut your heating bills by 10%
- Adjust your curtains or blinds to let in as much light as possible during the day, this means you won’t be tempted to reach for the light switch too early.
- Ensure your curtains or blinds are closed during the evening to prevent heat loss when it can be colder.
- Set your heating to turn off 30 minutes before you leave the house and to come on again 30 minutes before you expect to return.
- Don’t turn up the thermostat up when it's cold outside – they are designed to automatically maintain the desired temperature inside.
- Don’t turn up the thermostat to heat the room more quickly – it will still heat up at the same rate.
- Keep your radiators clear of furniture or laundry, put a shelf above it to push warm air into the room to keep more heat inside your home.
- Use a thermos to stay warm during the colder months instead of an electric blanket or central heating.
Green Star Energy offers smart energy efficient gadgets for FREE through its Perks and Thermo Saver tariffs
- Smart meters monitor how much energy you’re using in pounds and pence and in real time, which will help you to change your usage habits to save energy and money.
- Smart thermostats allow you to turn your heating on and off and up and down from your smartphone or tablet.
- Intelligent lighting can work only when a room is occupied, be controlled from afar or scheduled to turn on and off at pre-set times from your smartphone or tablet.
If you cut back your washing machine use by just one cycle per week you will save around £5 a year on your electricity bill
- Wring or spin dry your clothes first before you use the dryer, this will be much faster and it’ll save your cash.
- Use the 30C, half-load or eco setting on your machine.
- Don’t add wet items to a load that is already partially dried.
- Dry two or more loads in a row, taking advantage of the heat still in the dryer from the first load.
- Dry full loads when possible, but be careful not to overfill the dryer. Drying small loads wastes energy. Air should be able to circulate freely around the drying clothes.
- In good weather, consider hanging clothes outside and using totally free solar energy to do the drying.
- Gas tumble driers are one of the most environmentally friendly type of drier to run. But this type of drier can be slightly more expensive to install as it needs a gas connection.
- Electric heat pump tumble driers are also very efficient as they recycle the heat from the ventilation tube back into the drier, but take away the water vapour from the air.
TV's and Devices
Items on standby account for around 10% of a typical home’s electricity bill
- Take your TVs and devices off standby and don’t leave devices charging once they’re already full.
- Turn off the Quick Start option on your TV; this feature consumes significantly more power during standby.
- Adjust the backlight to lower power consumption and make the TV less bright; this can actually improve image quality.
- Adjust the ‘contrast’ or ‘picture’ controls on your TV to reduce brightness. Lowering the brightness can improve picture quality however the room lighting will need to be lower (this will also save you money!).
A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home
- Insulate your loft, attic, or flat roof to reduce you heating bills and CO2 emissions.
- Keep that warm feeling for longer by fitting draught excluders for gaps under doors.
- Timber floors can be insulated by lifting the floorboards and laying mineral wool insulation supported by netting between the joists.
- Get energy efficient glazing such as double or triple glazing for your windows.
- Older boilers lose heat easier than modern boilers. To increase energy efficiency, you can replace an old boiler with a condensing boiler.
- Fitting a British Standard jacket around an uninsulated hot water tank will cut heat loss by more than 75%. Insulate the pipes for additional savings.