One of the simplest things you can do in order to save energy is to monitor your energy usage.
|Keep a record of gas and electricity bills – cost and amount of energy used|
|Switch off all appliances at the wall when not in use – TV’s, radios, games consoles, computers, peripherals etc. For more information, see the Living Room & Home Office page|
|Choose appliances with low energy ratings. For more information, see the Energy Ratings Page|
|Install a smart energy meter http://www.decc.gov.uk/en/content/cms/what_we_do/consumers/smart_meters/|
Lighting a typical home accounts for around 20% of its electricity bill.
|Use low energy light bulbs. Replacing a single 100W incandescent bulb with a 15W low energy equivalent can save £54 over its five year lifespan. (Source: Which? based on 1000 hours of usage)|
|Make sure all the lights are turned off when you go to bed|
|Turn off lights when no one is in the room, and when watching TV|
Heating is the largest consumer of energy in our homes. According to government figures, it accounts for 58% of all our energy usage.
|The NEF advises that by sticking foil behind radiators that are fitted to outside walls you can save as much as £10 per year on your heating bills.|
|Try turning your heating thermostat down by 1°C – it will save about £10 a year|
|Set heating to come on just half an hour before you get up and turn it off again half an hour before you go out or before you go to bed|
|Can you manage without heating during the day? At night? When it is cold, wear warmer clothes rather than turning up the heating; keep active. Put a thicker quilt on the bed.|
|Draw the curtains at dusk to keep the heat in. Close internal doors to keep the heat in the rooms you are in and turn radiators off in unused rooms.|
|In hot weather, draw the curtains on the side of the house facing the sun, to keep the house cooler|
|Fit draft excluders around the front door and over the letter box and key holes|
|Putting a curtain over the front door helps keeps the draughts out|
|Use wood for fuel where possible – wood can be collected on walks!|
|Service gas boilers regularly and update where necessary|
|Make sure boiler is working properly and at correct pressure; bleed system when necessary|
Saving water is an important part of saving energy. According to the Energy Saving Trust, the energy needed to treat and pump mains water to our homes, and to collect and treat waste water from the sewage network, is responsible for nearly 1% of the UK’s annual greenhouse gas emissions. Heating water in our homes is responsible for a further 5%.
Heating water for use in taps, baths and showers makes up over 25% of average household’s heating bills – that’s around £200 a year – and may well cost even more if you use an electric immersion heater. If you are on a water meter, there are even more savings to be had by saving water.
Hot water use accounts on average for a fifth of a home’s carbon emissions and makes up 5% of the UK‘s total greenhouse gas emissions. If every UK home reduced their hot water use by just 5%, the CO2 saving would be equivalent to taking nearly 530,000cars off the roads – that’s 1.5 million tonnes of CO2 per year.
|Make sure your hot-water tank is dressed correctly. A British Standard lagging jacket costs £10 and the insulation for the pipe leading to the hot-water tank from the boiler costs £3 a metre. The yearly saving on your bill: £15-20 (source: http://www.foe.co.uk/)|
|You also don’t need to have your domestic water heated to a scalding temperature either, for most people setting the thermostat to 60°C/140°F is quite adequate|
|Do not run the hot tap unnecessarily|
For other tips on saving water, see the Bathroom page