We are all painfully aware that the cost of living has risen steeply in the past few months, leaving many of us worrying about paying the household bills and for some, worries about putting food on the table.
It is always a good idea to try and save energy wherever possible, but it is now more important than ever to start finding ways to cut our energy usage, which can in return save us pennies and hopefully pounds over the year. With some bills expected to rise again this winter, we have put together 10 easy to follow energy saving tips for the home, which we can all start to take advantage of straightaway.
Rather than doing several smaller loads of washing each week, save your clothes to do just one full load. Smaller loads do not really save any energy at all, so one big wash will be more efficient. Always be sure to choose your quick wash settings, so that your washing machine is running for less time. Take advantage of the warmer weather and dry clothes outside too, so you can avoid switching on the tumble dryer.
Does your dishwasher or boiler have an eco setting? Do you usually forget to use it? This has been designed to save energy by heating water more slowly. It may take longer for the water to get hot, but it will give you exactly the same results and save a little on your bills. Reducing your time spent in the shower by just a few minutes will also help to save energy and water.
We’re all guilty of leaving things switched on when they don’t need to be, but did you know that leaving things on stand-by can cost you around £35 extra per year? Make an effort to switch everything off at the wall when not in use and you will feel like you are making a real difference to cutting your household bills.
When you fill up your kettle to make a cup of tea, you may automatically be putting in more water than you actually need. Your kettle will then be using more energy in boiling the water, then re-boiling it later on. You can save up to a third in energy used per boil, if you simply add in the water that you actually need.
LED bulbs are designed to be more energy efficient, whereas traditional bulbs are incredibly wasteful. You may find that some brands of LED bulb are a little more expensive than a standard bulb, but it will be worth the investment with the energy savings that you will make from using the longer lasting bulbs. Also remember to turn off any lights when you are not in the room.
Ovens are one of the biggest culprits when it comes to energy usage, so it is advisable to switch to a microwave wherever possible. It will cook your food more quickly and use less energy - just check that any meat is properly cooked before you eat it.
Turning your thermostat down by just a couple of degrees can make you some real energy savings and you are likely not to notice such a small reduction in heat. You should also reduce your washing machine to 30°C, as this will use less energy and leave your clothes just as clean as if you were washing at a higher temperature.
Most of us will leave phones, tablets and laptops to charge overnight, leaving it plugged in until we need it. However, your technology will continue to draw energy even when it is fully charged. Unplugging it as soon as it is full will make some excellent savings.
If you can afford it, then updating your insulation will help to stop any warmth escaping, allowing you to turn down or even switch off the heating. Even things like closing internal doors and ensuring that your curtains are closed every night, in every room, will help to keep your home warmer for longer.
Sometimes we waste energy from having an old, outdated heating system. It is worth doing some research into government grants that can help you to afford a new boiler that has been designed to be more energy efficient and cheaper to run.