Loans 2 Go: Top Ten Tips to save energy this autumn
What an amazing summer it’s been! We have enjoyed weeks of warm sunny weather and those cold dark days of winter seem to exist only in our imaginations.
However now we are gradually approaching autumn it’s a good time to start looking ahead to the coming change of season, and trying to find ways that we can start economising on energy so that we don’t face sky high bills later on in the year.
Our Top Ten Tips should help:
- Get the best value from your energy supplier
All energy suppliers have increased their prices this year, but it may still be possible for you to find a better money saving deal. Our recent article Is It Really Worth Changing your Energy Supplier explains how to go about looking for a better deal and change suppliers if you decide to do this. There is also a very helpful Youtube video from the Energy Saving Trust on how to understand your energy bill.
- Economise on heating
For most of us, heating is the largest element of our energy bill. Thankfully it is possible to stay warm but still manage to cut costs and save money.
Surprisingly, it is more economical to keep your heating on constantly on a low heat setting. Most energy is used when the heating starts up so if it is constantly on this will avoid that. Make sure that you keep the heating as low as possible – even turning your thermostat down by just 1°C can save money. Better to have a lower temperature and an extra layer of clothing or bedding rather than blast out heat and have to open windows!
- Don’t overuse your oven
Only use your oven when you really need to. Where possible cook several items together to make the maximum use of it; and when meals are cooking try not to keep opening the door as this wastes a lot of heat. Also try to cook using lower temperatures as many meals actually taste better if they have been cooked longer at a low temperature, and this will save energy.
Most modern ovens do not need pre-heating and also retain their heat after being switched off. So don’t fall into the trap of switching the oven on long before you need it, or leaving it switched on when in fact the residual heat would be enough to finish cooking the food.
You could also use residual oven heat to warm your kitchen by opening the oven door once the food is cooked.
- Fill your fridge
Many people do not know that if you save energy by keeping your fridge and freezer full: in fact we tend to think that if they are full they must need to work harder so will be using more energy. But having a full fridge or freezer means less cold air will escape every time you open its door; and it is the process of cold air escaping and warm air coming in that makes it have to work harder to cool things down again. If necessary you can fill up space in fridges and freezers with jugs or plastic bags of water.
- Save water in the kitchen
We all use too much water, and if you are on a water meter this will increase your bills. Once you start being careful about how much water you use you will be amazed at how much is wasted and how much you could cut back without affecting your daily life.
For example, make sure you just fill the kettle with the amount of water that you need rather than to the brim, and don’t leave taps running when you are not actually using them.
The Energy Saving Trust estimate that if you reduce your washing machine use by just one cycle per week this could save £5 a year on energy. Also when using the washing machine use a lower temperature – 30-40°C – as most of a washing machine’s use of energy goes on heating the water.
- Save water in the bathroom
Showers tend to use less water than baths but if you have a power shower with the pressure at its highest it can use just as much water as a bath. Turning the pressure down can save energy. Also getting a water efficient shower head can reduce your hot water usage whilst still providing a powerful shower.
Spending a little less time in the shower also saves water. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that spending one minute less in the shower each day could save up to £80 a year for a family of four.
Similarly to the kitchen, don’t leave taps running when not needed – for example when brushing your teeth.
- Switch things off
Everyone in the household needs to understand the need to switch off and save. For example you can save around £30 a year just by turn your appliances off standby mode as a small amount of energy is still being used unless appliances are turned off at the socket. Most electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming.
If you leave a room switch off the lights unless you are planning to come straight back in again. Switching off a light even for just a few seconds can save you around £15 on your annual energy bills.
- Use energy saving light bulbs
If you use energy saving bulbs throughout your home this can save around £35 a year on bills. Look for CFLs – compact fluorescent lamps – or LED spotlights, depending on the type of light required.
- Banish draughts
So many homes have draughts, particularly around doors and windows, gaps in the floor, or through the chimney. Instead of turning up the heat, consider draught proofing your home. There are many DIY gadgets available or you may decide to get it professionally done: this would mean an initial layout but then a good saving on energy bills afterwards.
- Energy saving measures
It is also worth looking at larger energy saving measures for your home such as cavity wall insulation, loft insulation, or solar panels. Check out the Energy Saving Trust website for further information and ideas.
Some of these improvements are eligible for energy-saving grants: for details see the Gov UK website.
We hope that these Tips help you to save energy in your home this autumn. Remember to check back here soon for more money saving tips from Loans 2 Go.