Energy efficiency hints and tips

Energy Saving tips for your home

Around the house

  • Use timers and thermostats to control space heating and thermostats to control water heating. Reducing your thermostat by just one or two degrees can have a significant effect.
  • Block up unused chimneys, seal gaps in floors, doors and windows. Draughts account for a significant amount of energy loss.
  • Install other insulators such as carpets and rugs and full-length thermal-lined curtains. You will quickly notice the difference, both in comfort and cost.
  • Set your hot water cylinder to 50°C (the minimum recommended storage temperature). Insulating pipes and locating your hot water system as close as you can to hot water outlets (e.g. kitchen and bathroom) will make more energy efficient use of your hot water supply.
  • Choosing the right heat pump and using it efficiently will make a big difference to your overall energy use.

Living room

  • Use the correct size and type of heater for the room. Over heating wastes energy, while undersized heating equipment will struggle even if running on maximum setting and may cost you more money than a larger heater.
  • Consider the energy consumption of a new TV prior to purchase. Remember the larger the screen, the more energy it will use.
  • Low voltage halogen down lights and feature lights will often use as much energy as incandescent lamps. Replacing halogen and feature lights with LED lamps can be up to 10-times more efficient.
  • Ensure doors and windows are well fitted and sealed for the cooler months. Open them up in summer to let a cool breeze refresh the air.
  • Turn off your sound system and TV at the wall when not in use. Appliances left on standby still use energy.
  • Turn off lights and heating when the room is not in use.

Kitchen

  • Use microwave ovens or electric frypans where possible. Their smaller wattage and faster cooking times can use up to 70% less energy than other conventional methods.
  • Where possible, use a single hotplate with a saucepan and stacking steamer with well-fitting lid. You can use the water in the saucepan to boil pasta and potatoes at the same time.
  • Ensure the door seal on your oven and fridge are in good condition and that the door seals tightly.
  • When choosing a fridge or freezer, dishwasher or other kitchen appliance, choose an energy efficient model by comparing the star ratings. The more stars the better, 6 stars being best of all.
  • Boiling water in an electric kettle is around 50% more efficient than using the stove. Fill only to the level you need (ensuring the water level is above the exposed element if it has one).
  • Keep your fridge well-stocked or buy a fridge with a capacity to suit your needs. A fridge will use more power if it has to keep too much air space cool, and spills out more cold air when you open the door if it is not loaded to the optimum capacity.
  • If going away for a long period, empty, clean and unplug your fridge and/or freezer.
  • Use your dishwasher more efficiently. Keep the filters clean, use cold water to rinse dishes if necessary, only run when the load is full, and where possible use the “economy” setting. For a small number of dishes wash by hand.

Laundry

  • Choose an energy efficient washing machine and clothes dryer by comparing the star ratings. The more stars the better!
  • Select ‘cold wash’ on your machine. Laundry detergent recommended for cold washing will give you good results.
  • Load your washer fully each wash. If you do not have a full load, adjust the water level of your machine to save on water and power.
  • Use the sun to dry clothes when you can. An outdoor clothes line or an airer near a sunny window will do the job and also leave your clothes smelling fresh and less damaged by over-heating.
  • If you do use a clothes dryer make sure you have spun the clothes well, or they are partially dried before you put them in. 

Bedroom

  • Instead of running a heater overnight, try an under blanket or extra bedding layer on top. If you can’t bear getting out of bed in the cold, use a timer to turn the heating on half an hour before you get up.
  • During winter close your curtains well before bedtime, but open them to let in the warming sun during the day.
  • If your bedroom gets too hot in summer put up some reflective blinds or awnings outside the windows.
  • Bedside lamps mean you only light the room where it’s needed. Use LEDs or compact fluorescent lamps whenever possible, or small halogen lamps in preference to standard incandescent bulbs.

Bathroom

  • Choose to shower rather than fill the bath.
  • Fitting flow restrictors or AAA water saving shower heads will make a big difference to the amount of water, and therefore the amount of energy you use.
  • Avoid using hot water if cold water will do. Each time you run the hot tap a litre or more of heated water goes cold in the pipes.
  • Switch off your hot water system when you go away or leave the house for a week or more.
  • Renew seals and washers on dripping taps. A hot water tap dripping once a second for a day can waste enough hot water for an extra person.