Your 10 Step Guide to Saving Energy
by Meireka Radford | 6 October 2020
10 Quick Wins for Saving Energy
Saving energy is one of the quickest, most sure-fire ways to introduce more sustainable habits into your life – at the same time as saving money. There are many tricks and tips when it comes to reducing your electricity and gas usage and, when you’ve mastered these, saving on your energy bills will be second nature.
1. Use LED light bulbs
You’ve likely heard of this one – and for good reason. Switching your ordinary light bulbs for energy-saving ones makes all the difference, both energy and longevity-wise. Why? Because LED bulbs are far more efficient than their energy-sapping counterparts: they use a lot less power and – because of that – need to be replaced far less often.
In fact, LED bulbs use 90% less electricity and also last 10-20 times longer than ordinary light bulbs. The best part? They’re available in a range of designs and brightness options, so you can tailor your lighting to suit you.
2. Use the right stove ring
Energy-efficient cooking is an easy habit to adopt. Simply match your pan or pot with the right sized ring on your stove. For instance, if you’re heating a small pan of food, be sure to only use the small ring. Alternatively, if you’re heating up a big pot of food, use one of your stove’s bigger rings to minimise cooking time.
3. Turn off your plugs
This is the simplest way to save energy and reduce your electricity usage. Simply hit the switch, or turn off plugs at the wall and you’ll instantly be reducing your energy bill and carbon footprint.
4. Invest in eco-friendly appliances
You may not be aware of this, but your household energy usage can vary a lot depending on the type of individual household appliances you have. That is, some washing machines or microwaves – for instance – will be a lot more energy-efficient than others.
The way to tell is to look for A-rated (or above) appliances. They might be a little more expensive, but your energy savings will begin making up for that in no time. Here’s to many cups of cost-efficient coffee.
5. Insulate your home
There are a number of tricks that exist when it comes to insulating your home. And the science behind it makes sense: just like us, when we’ve forgotten our jumper on a particularly chilly day, homes that aren’t very well insulated lose heat far easier and are harder to keep warm. In the same way, non-insulated homes don’t stay cool very well when the weather is warm.
There are a couple of ways you can go about insulating your home – and you don’t have to do everything! Simply pick what practically suits you.
The most common way is to install cavity wall insulation. This is usually an affordable, accessible option that will immediately help you minimise heat loss – because it stops heat from escaping through the walls of your home.
You could also draught-proof your front door (and your letter box) to stop cold air rushing through it and into your home, particularly during winter months.
Lastly, you could insulate your loft. That way, no heat escapes through your roof, either.
6. Choose showering
There’s no comparing the two – when it comes to bathing as opposed to showering, the latter is far more energy efficient, because baths tend to use far more hot water. When you do shower, keeping it on the shorter side will go a long way to reducing your energy costs, too.
7. Double or triple glaze your windows
There’s no denying that having double-glazed or triple-glazed windows installed in your home is one of the pricier options when it comes to saving energy. But if you’re able to make the investment, it will be entirely worth your while. Plus: if you prefer the peaceful life, double-glazed windows help insulate your home against noisy life outside, too. Less sirens, more energy saving.
8. Turn down your boiler’s temperature
If you have an ordinary boiler, or water tank, turning down its temperature on is a practical, easy way to reduce your energy usage – you’ll wonder why you haven’t ever done it before.
But think about it: there isn’t all that much point in having your boiler produce scalding hot water when you’re simply going to add cold water to it when you take a bath or shower, or do some dishes, so that it’s not too hot for you.
All you’ve got to do is ensure your hot water tank’s both heating and storing your water at the temperature you prefer.
9. Install a chimney sheep or a chimney balloon
Aside from their endearing names, chimney balloons or chimney sheep are a great way to save on energy. It’s simple: both work to essentially plug your chimney and stop cold draughts coming down it.
10. Turn your heating down
A simpler energy-saving tip there likely never was, turning down your room thermostat by a couple of degrees is an easy way to save energy. We know nobody wants a cold home, but combine this tip with insulating your home well – plus a good, cosy blanket – and you should be all set.
Remember, for every degree you turn your thermostat down by, you’ll save around £50 a year.
Bonus Step: Really Quick Wins!
Saving energy and reducing your bills doesn’t have to involve big changes. There are plenty of small changes you can try at home that will make a big difference in the long run:
- Turn off your lights when they are not being used, or anytime you are out of the house.
- Put a coat on your water tank to keep the temperature up between water heating times.
- Don't peek in the oven whilst cooking! Every time you open the door, the temperature drops about 15° C – requiring more energy to bring the temperature back up.
- On cold days, leave the blinds open when the sun is shining to heat your home.
- Rugs and carpeting can help insulate your home or apartment during the colder months!