While it is impossible to be 100% efficient with your energy consumption there are ways and means of reducing your energy usage in the home. Many of these actions will save minimal money on their own but the cumulative effect can be significant. When you also bear in mind the average UK household is paying around £150 per annum in “green taxes” on energy bills, every penny helps.
We all know the insulation of a loft/attic helps to retain more heat in a property and therefore reduces energy consumption. It is difficult to pinpoint the exact saving when insulating your loft because this will depend upon the size of the property, the central heating system, etc. Suffice to say, insulating your loft/attic with more than pay for itself over time.
There are also great opportunities to save money by adding insulation to your cavity walls, placing insulation under your floor and filling in the cracks and gaps in your window frames. The type of insulation required here may be anything from standard installation sheets to simple silicon sealant around window frames and gaps in your floorboards. The results will surprise you!
While some of the above insulation actions require a small degree of DIY there are many other areas which are even simpler but extremely cost-effective. Drawing curtains and pulling down window blinds in the evening, especially the wintertime, will ensure that minimal heat escapes from your room. Even if there are no gaps in your window frame, warm air hitting the cold surface of your window will eventually reduce the temperature within your room. Many people also use thermal backed curtains and blinds which are even more efficient.
We have all heard about the potential cost savings to be had when turning down your thermostat over a prolonged period of time. As a rule of thumb, figures suggest that every degree reduction in your thermostat temperature equates to a 3% saving on your heating bill. More and more people also use radiator reflector panels which reflect more heat back into the center of your room as opposed to rising to the ceiling with a reduced impact upon the room temperature. There are also smart radiator valves, which can be programmed to switch on and switch off, as well as radiator boosters which better circulate heat throughout your rooms.
While it will depend upon the heating system installed, the cost of producing hot water can be relatively expensive and therefore any cost savings should be welcomed. One simple cost saving relates to dripping hot water taps which it is estimated could fill half a bath in just a week. Therefore, it is vital that you ensure all taps are turned off correctly and where there are leaks they should be fixed as quickly as possible. This is an extremely simple way of reducing the energy used within your household as well as doing your bit for the environment.
There are many other simple ways to save water which include switching off the tap while you brush your teeth. Cutting the amount of time you spend in the shower/bath from for example 20 minutes down to 10 minutes could in theory reduce your water heating costs by 25% and save water. Only using the dishwasher when it is full, and using the economy setting if possible, not over filling the kettle and only using your washing machine when there is a full load will also lead to cost savings.
We are all probably guilty of an array of wastage when it comes to power appliances. Common issues are keeping TVs on standby overnight, overcharging our phones, leaving lights on and generally being lax when it comes to switching off plugs. Even those items, for example a mobile phone charger, which don’t use the same amount of power when unplugged from a phone will still use what is commonly known as “vampire electricity”. There is a common myth that mobile phone chargers use the same level of electricity when switched on, whether they are plugged into a device or not, but this is simply not true.
Over the years many people have become accustomed to using dryers to dry their washing even if the weather is perfect to use your washing line. There will be some occasions where it is not possible to erect a washing line but where possible and where appropriate you should avoid using electric dryers at all costs. These machines are extremely greedy when it comes to power consumption so the less you use them the better.
There are numerous ways to save energy in the home, many of which are relative straightforward. As a society many of us have become a little lazy when it comes to saving energy which ultimately means saving money. An obvious side effect is a reduced impact upon the climate at a time when climate change is very much a hot topic. So, even if you use just a few of the tips above you will feel the benefit in your pocket and at the same time be doing your bit for the environment.