Using energy more efficiently in your daily life comes easily once you get started. This site lists many ways to save energy around the house, at work and on the road. Here, we list the overall top six:
Overall Top Tips
- Many people keep their thermostat too high. Check it and if its above 20ľC turn it down. Lowering your thermostat by just 1ľC will knock 10% off your heating bill.
- Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows, particularly if they are single glazed. So keep your curtains closed at night, even in empty rooms and also ensure that the curtains don’t hang over the radiators as that will just funnel all your heat out the window.
- Close room doors to separate heated from unheated areas of your home, and minimise the area you are heating. There is no need to spend money heating rooms nobody is in.
- Turn the lights off when leaving a room.
- Switch appliances off rather than leaving them on standby. This will save up to 20% of your appliances’ energy use.
- Make better use of the timers on your immersion or boiler so you can control when the heating comes on and goes off. This means you have heating and hot water when and where you want it.
While all of the above are simple tips that won’t cost you anything, some people may want to go a little further and actually spend money to save money.
If you are interested in spending money on making your home more energy efficient you should consider the following:
- Compact Fluorescent Lamps (CFLs): These use a fraction of the electricity an ordinary light bulb would use and last up to 10 times longer.
- Appliances: Be demanding when you buy. All appliances now need an energy label so check them for one. Purchase ‘A’ rated appliances whenever possible, the amount they will save you on electricity will be more than the cost of replacing the existing appliances you have.
- Electric Heaters: When buying heaters, make sure they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat. Remember that electric heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.
- Insulation: Insulating your attic and walls could save you 30‐40% on your home heating bill. For information on the Home Energy Saving scheme grants that can help visit our grants section.
- Heating System Upgrade: The Home Energy Saving scheme will also grant aid high efficiency boilers and heating control improvements.
- Insulate your attic well and save up to 20% on your home heating bill. If your attic insulation is currently less than 200 mm, then you should add further layers. There are a variety of suitable materials including mineral wool, rock wool, sheeps wool, polystyrene, cellulose fibre and multilayered foil.
- Wall insulation can be increased in a number of ways. The pay‐back period is dependent on a number of factors including type, thickness and quality of existing insulation. The most popular types of insulation systems are, (i) insulated dry lining, (ii) blown mineral or cellulose fibre or polystyrene beads into the cavity, or (iii) rigid external insulation with render or brick finish. Specialist advice should be sought in all cases.
- Choose double glazed units when replacing windows. Much of the heat loss from a house occurs through the windows particularly if they are single glazed. Significant energy savings can be achieved if double glazing has Argon fill and low‐emissivity glass.
- If replacing the hot water cylinder, a cylinder with factory applied insulation should be considered. Such insulation is more effective at retaining heat than a lagging jacket, is less easily damaged and cannot be pulled out of place.
- A lagging jacket on your hot water cylinder will keep water hotter for longer and pay for itself in 2‐3 months.
- Keep curtains closed at night and ensure that the curtains don’t hang over the radiators. A reflective foil, backed by insulation if space permits should be fixed behind radiators mounted on external walls.
- When buying heaters, make sure that they are the right size for the rooms they are to heat, and that they have thermostatic controls.
- Remember that electric heaters other than storage heaters consume electricity at the most expensive charge rate.
- Use a space or portable heater instead of the central heater, if only one room needs heating.
- Choose heaters with thermostat controls and timers.
- Turn off the heating overnight and when you are out during the day.
- Turn off the heating if you are going to be out of the house for more than a day.
- Proper control and regular maintenance of your heating system can reduce fuel consumption by 10‐20%
- If you have gas heating, turn‐off pilot lights during the warmer months.
- Heat bedroom areas to less than 18oC
- 20oC is an ideal room temperature. Turning down thermostats by 1oC can reduce annual space heating energy consumption by 10% with an equivalent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions.
- Open fires are wasteful of energy with more than 70% of the energy going up the chimney.
- If the radiator is mounted below a window, a projecting window‐board or shelf above the radiator will direct warm air into the room, reducing heat loss through the window.
- Close doors to separate heated from unheated areas of your home, and minimise the area you are heating.
Hot Water Heating:
- Use the timer on immersion heaters. This should supply you with enough hot water as and when you need.
- Heating hot water account for 64% of energy consumption in the home: you should be thrifty in its use.
- 90% of the energy consumption of washing machines goes on heating the water. Wash clothes whenever possible in cold or cool water.