If you want to save money on energy bills at a time when they’re higher than ever, we have a range of energy-saving tips that can help you save money and live more sustainably.
As you’d imagine, most people use energy in the evening between 6pm and 9pm, when they’re back from work, school or other responsibilities. With energy prices, heating bills and the overall cost of living now at record levels however, it’s easy to see why people are looking at making as many savings as possible.
According to research from the Energy Saving Trust and MoneySuperMarket, adopting some of these tips can save around £500 per year depending on where you live.
Below you can find our top 7 tips for saving energy and how you can start actioning them around your home:
Washing machines and tumble dryers are two of the main energy-hogging appliances around the home.
Fortunately, you can save more money each year by just using your washing machine in a more responsible way. Two of the key points to consider are:
Research suggests that the average home in the UK can save around £34 a year simply by following the points above.
Tumble dryers, while a useful way to dry clothes, should be avoided at all costs. You can save up to £70 a year simply by using a drying rack or hanging your clothes outside.
Water waste is one of the more expensive forms of energy waste and making some simple changes to your hygiene routine can save you over £100 a year according to Energy Saving Trust data.
The first major change is reducing how long you spend in the shower. While everyone loves a relaxing hot shower, minimising your shower time to just four minutes can save the typical household £95 a year on energy bills.
Likewise, if you’re a bath person, you can save more money by swapping one bath a week for a 4-minute shower. This single energy-saving tip can save £20 a year on your energy bills.
The kitchen is another key area where energy-saving tips can lead to big money savings.
Kettles are our first stop - one of the most used appliances in the kitchen and often a major contributor to energy waste. Many of us often fully fill the kettle, regardless of how much we’re going to use. If you can avoid overfilling the kettle and only boil what you need, you can save £13 a year on your electricity bill.
Likewise, your dishwasher should only be run when it is completely full. Aside from increasing the lifespan of the appliance, this reduces the amount of water you use and saves money.
Elsewhere in the kitchen, consider your appliances and how energy-efficient they are. If you’re buying a new dishwasher or fridge freezer, opt for a more efficient model.
Research from Moneysupermarket suggests that a fridge-freezer with the highest energy rating can save you around £320 in energy bills over its entire lifetime compared to the next rating down.
As heat rises through the home, it’s often lost without proper insulation - reducing the energy efficiency of the property and translating to lost money.
If you have a hot water cylinder, it’s particularly important that it is insulated. Even the installation of an 80mm jacket can save £70 a year compared to thinner insulation.
Bleeding your radiators can improve their performance and ensure that they’re operating in the best possible way.
You might also consider insulating other elements of your home such as pipes and the roof. The roof is a particularly important place to insulate but can be a more expensive task depending on your level of expertise.
Whether you’re doing it yourself with mineral wool or paying an expert to do it for you, remember that the average semi-detached roof typically lasts 40 years and if insulated properly it will save around £135 on energy each year. This number obviously increases alongside your floorsize.
While we often switch appliances off, many new electricals have a built-in standby mode that runs in the background. Switching these appliances off at the plug can be done without any harm to settings or programming and ensures that the appliance is fully off. It’s estimated the average home could save around £65 a year just by taking these actions.
In some cases, it’s also worth checking if the appliance has an energy-saving mode itself. Most new TVs and games consoles come with energy-saving features that the average user may never see. The new generation of Xbox consoles, for example, have a specific ‘energy saver’ shutdown mode that uses 20 times less power when the console isn’t in use compared to the default ‘standby’ mode. This can be a huge saving if you have multiple consoles or children regularly using it.
If you want to be sure, you may want to invest in a smart plug that automatically switches off power at set times, such as when you go to sleep.
While this is less necessary for new homes, draught-proofing is a great way of retaining heat and thus, maintaining energy efficiency.
Although professional draught-proofing can be quite expensive (around £225 for the average property), it’s expected to save around £125 a year on energy bills so it quickly pays for itself. DIY draught-proofing, if you have the experience and materials, can be much cheaper and achieve the same effect if you’re looking to reduce the initial cost.
If you have trouble keeping track of your energy usage and you’d prefer to see a more detailed breakdown of what something costs, you might want to get a smart meter installed.
By showing accurate, real-time data, you can get a better understanding of what’s costing you money and where you might be able to make your own savings around the home.
Smart meters are quickly becoming the standard because of the various benefits they can provide homeowners.