Energy Efficiency at Home
Saving energy at home is good for the planet and good for your pocket too. Reducing energy consumption means cheaper energy bills and fewer carbon emissions which is good news for everyone. Whether it is heating your home, heating your hot water, powering appliances or lighting the house there is an energy saving measure that can help.
Installing cavity wall and loft insulation are two of the best energy saving improvements that can be done. For more information and to check if you're eligible for a grant towards the cost of insulation contact the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.
There are other great ways to save energy that don’t cost anything at all, and together make a real difference
- Curtains – close them at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows and check for draughts around windows, doors and cracks in floors and skirting boards. DIY draught-proofing can save up to £25 to £35 per year on your energy bill.
- Lights – turn them off when you leave a room. Replacing standard light bulbs with energy efficient light bulbs could save £35 per year on your energy bill. Modern low energy bulbs are available in all shapes and sizes and there are ones compatible with dimmer switches
- Stand-by – you can save around £30 a year simply through avoiding leaving appliances on standby. Almost all appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming, but check the instructions if you are not sure (for example, satellite and digital TV recorders may need to be left plugged in).
- Kettles - You can save around £7 a year by only boiling as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements of electric kettles).
- Leaky taps? - A dripping hot water tap wastes energy and in one week wastes enough hot water to fill half a bath!
- Washing machines and dishwashers – fill them up. One full load uses less energy than two half loads. By cutting back on one washing machine cycle each could save you £5 on energy bills and £8 on metered water bills over the course of a year. Clothes airers and washing lines are a much cheaper alternative to tumble dryers.
- Hot water - Your cylinder thermostat should be set at 60°C/140°F.
- Take control of your heating – Room thermostats, programmers and thermostatic radiator valves are all good ways of controlling your energy use. These will allow you to set you heating and hot water to come on and off when you need it, set the temperature for each area of your home and only heat those areas that need heating.
Visit the Energy Saving Trust for lots of tips on how to save even more energy.
By the end of 2020, every home will be fitted with smart meters. A smart meter will tell you exactly how much energy you're using and what you're spending in pounds and pence. This will help you work out where you could save energy to cut your bills.
Smart meters measure the gas and electricity you use and send this information to a handy display screen in your home. They will also send meter readings to your gas and electric supplier, so there will be no more estimated bills or strangers wanting to read your meter.
Smart meters will not cost you anything extra, and will be provided and fitted by your energy supplier. The full scale rollout begins in 2016 and your energy supplier will then be planning when they will start fitting smart meters in your area.
For much more information on smart meters and the rollout visit the Smart Energy GB website or contact your energy supplier.
If you are keen to get ahead with monitoring your own energy use and cost, you can buy Home Energy Monitors starting from around £15 (some local authorities loan these).
Energy Saving Tools
When buying new electrical goods consider the ones with the Energy Saving Trust Recommended logo, they will be the ones the most energy efficient and cheaper to run. Energy Saving Trust Online is an online database of endorsed products.
The Energy Saving Trust offers a home energy check service, which asks few questions about your home and then puts together a report identifying how you can save energy at home, it also includes details of any grants schemes operating in your area: Energy Saving Trust Home Energy Check.
The Energy Saving Trust Water Energy Calculator is a quick and easy assessment of how much water and energy your household uses. You can download your report and start making changes that will help you save energy and make savings on your energy bills too.
For further impartial energy saving advice you can call the Energy Saving Advice Service on 0300 123 1234.