Energy Saving Tips To Help You This Winter
words by Timothy O’Regan, Employment Coach at Witton Lodge Community Association
We are all aware that we are now dealing with a cost-of-living crisis. A large part of the increased cost is due to energy bills, costs rose in April and are currently forecast to rise further next month (October) So now is a good time to look at how we use energy in our homes and how we can save energy and money by making changes in our behavior and take action to reduce our energy use. By acting now, we can help to limit the effect of rising energy costs and be ready as Autumn and Winter sets in.
How your savings could add up over the year.
|Switch off standby.||£55|
|Turn off lights.||£20|
|Wash at 30 degrees, one less wash a week.||£28|
|Avoid using the tumble dryer.||£60|
|Take a 4-minute shower.||£70|
|Don’t overfill the kettle and fit a tap aerator||£36|
|Insulate your hot water cylinder||£35|
Energy saving trust. *Savings are for a typical three-bedroom, gas-heated home in Great Britain, using a gas price of 7.4p/kWh and electricity price of 28.3p/kWh (based on April 2022 price cap). Water savings are based on average occupancy. This household is projected to spend a total £1,970 on energy annually, including standing charge. Figures updated March 2022.
How to save energy (Money).
The below tips are in three categories low, medium, and high, meaning low, medium, or high cost or time to do. They are examples of things you can do to save energy (money) and to help you to start thinking of other changes you could make to save further.
Include everyone in your household so that they understand the importance of saving energy, money and reducing your effect on the environment. Try and turn energy saving into a game for your kids, so they remember to switch things off.
- Reduce the heating temperature. Each reduction of 1C saves £80 – £85 per year.
- Check your boiler pressure, it should normally be between 1.0 to 2.0 bar. If it is too low the boiler has to work harder to heat the water.
- If you have a combi boiler, check the temperature settings for both water and heating. The water temperature should be OK at 55 degrees, with the heating temperature at 50 degrees.
- Don’t heat rooms you are not using.
- Bleed your radiators once a year, the ideal time being before you switch on your heating for the winter.
- Use reflector panels behind your radiators to reduce heat loss through your wall.
- Don’t block or cover radiators, heat is absorbed by furniture and items placed on or over the radiators. Moving furniture slightly away from the radiator will help heat the room.
- Switch to LED bulbs, to use 90% less energy.
- Use the power of the sun to heat your house and close your curtains at dusk. In the summer it may be worth closing curtains where you can, to reduce the heat in your home and not use a fan as much.
- If you do not have a smart meter, send monthly meter readings to your supplier. This will stop them using estimated readings.
- Don’t leave electrical devices on standby.
- When you have finished charging a device unplug the charger.
- Consider using your microwave instead of your oven. Microwaves are more energy efficient.
- When cooking boil water in a kettle, not on the stovetop. Boiling a kettle is more energy efficient and quicker.
- If safe to do so, leave your oven door open after cooking and allow the heat to escape.
- When making a drink, only boil the water you need.
- Regularly clean the coils on your fridge to make it work as well as possible. Defrost food in the fridge, helps to reduce the fridge temperature. Cool leftovers before placing in the fridge.
- Washing up. Use a bowl and not running water. If possible, save the washing up for later or at least only wash up when you have lots of items to wash. Always fill the dish washer before using.
- Tumble dryer. Can you air dry clothes instead? Is the tumble dryer filter cleaned regularly?
- If your vacuum cleaner has a filter, make sure you clean this regularly. This makes your vacuum more efficient and should mean you spend less time hovering.
- Washing machine. For general clothing 20C – 30C should be OK, washing at 30C saves around 38% more energy than at 40C, use a liquid when washing at this temperature. Of course, also try to only do full loads each time you wash.
- If you have a shower, have a shower rather than a bath. In general aim for 4 – 5 minutes in the shower. Consider changing your shower head to an eco-version, this will help save energy and water.
- Check your doors and windows for draughts. Add draught excluders to doors and self-adhesive draught excluder tape to windows and doors.
- Buy thick lined curtains to reduce draughts.
- Can you use a slow cooker instead of your oven?
- Have your boiler serviced each year to keep it working at its best and to help avoid it breaking down in the winter.
- When buying new appliances e.g., a fridge freezer, consider the running cost, not just the purchase price. Look for eco buy or A+++, over the lifetime of the appliance you could save £320 versus an A+ appliance.
- Loft insulation. Is the loft insulated to the correct depth, without items being placed on top of it?
- If you have an old inefficient boiler, consider buying a new energy efficient boiler or heating system.
- Cavity wall insulation will help to reduce your energy use.
- Do your radiators have any cold spots on them when your heating is on? This may mean that your radiators need flushing. The cold spots are caused by a buildup of sludge which increases over time. Other clues to a possible problem are dirty almost black water from the radiator which may be seen when you bleed the radiator, and you may also have rattling noises from your boiler.