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Energy saving tips to save money and lower your home’s carbon footprint

Date posted:
7th April 2022

From the kitchen to the bathroom, with some of these energy-saving tips, you can become more energy-efficient and get more out of the gas and electricity you pay for. They’ll help you lower your home’s carbon footprint and save money on your monthly bills.

Save money when heating your home

A few tweaks to your everyday routine could help cut down your heating bills.

  • Turn your thermostat down a little. One of the simplest ways to save energy is by turning your heating down a single degree. You might not think such a small amount would make much difference – but according to the Energy Saving Trust lowering your thermostat from 20C to 19C (for example) can save 10% on your heating bill.
  • By bleeding your radiators, you get more surface area heat out of your radiators and reducing cold spots can help lower the amount of energy they need. And you don’t need to be a DIY whiz to do it – here’s a video to show you how.
  • On exterior walls, fit reflector panels behind your radiators can direct more heat into your rooms making them warmer. They’re relatively cheap and easy to install. You can achieve a similar effect for even less money by putting aluminium foil on the wall behind the radiator.
  • It’s relatively cheap and simple to draught-proof your home using materials from a DIY store. You can get rolls of draught-excluding foam tubing for windows. And to stop cold air getting in through your front door, consider a draught brush for the letterbox and maybe a cover for the keyhole.

Follow this video for some simple tricks to help your boiler run more efficiently and save you money. 

Save money around the home

Some small changes can have a huge difference in the home

  • Closing your curtains will help your home retain heat. This helps keep warmth in the room – but try not to drape them over radiators.
  • Unplug all your chargers. When your mobile phone, MP3 player, laptop etc are fully charged, try and get into the habit of unplugging it. Not only will this save energy, it also prolongs battery life. It could also save you about £60 a year on your electricity bills.
  • Don’t use standby mode. Unless switched off at the wall, appliances like your TV continue to use energy, costing the average UK home £35 per year.
  • Switch to LED bulbs. Traditional bulbs are extremely inefficient. Modern LEDs are the opposite, and also last longer so are less wasteful too. Smart LED bulbs like Hive Lights can help you save even more energy as you can switch them on and off remotely.
  • Big furniture close to your radiator can stop heat reaching the room. Move them an inch or two away for better air circulation and your rooms will be warm and cosy much faster.
  • Remember when your parents told you to turn the lights off when you left a room? They had a point. Getting everyone in the habit of only lighting rooms that are being used can help save money in the long term.

Save money doing the laundry

How to cut your energy use and shrink your bill – but not your clothes.

  • Do full laundry loads. Half-load settings save very little energy, so a full load is much more energy-efficient. 
  • Use the economy setting on your washing machine to save water and energy.
  • With today’s effective washing machine detergents, there’s often no need to run your washing machine any higher than 30°C – clean clothes, energy saved, job done!
  • Dry your laundry outside where you can, instead of using an energy-hungry tumble dryer.
  • Avoid drying clothes on radiators – it just makes your boiler work harder.
  • Use eco-balls in your tumble dryer to spread your clothes so they dry more quickly.

How to save energy in your bathroom

If you can spend a little on making your bathroom more energy efficient then you could:

  • Change your showerhead. A low-flow design still gives you a satisfying shower but uses much less hot water.
  • Get an extractor with a timer. Running your bathroom fan for more than 20 minutes can waste energy and money.
  • Don’t leave the tap running – turn off the tap when brushing your teeth or washing your face. You could be wasting more than six litres of water per minute if you leave it running.
  • Stop the block – avoid flushing cotton pads and buds, wipes or sanitary products down the toilet. By simply throwing them in the bin, you will cut down the amount of water wasted by unnecessary flushing and protect our sewers. Leaky loos – one of the biggest culprits for wasting water in the home are toilet cisterns, especially the modern push-button types. Modern cisterns tend to overflow into the toilet bowl rather than through a pipe in the wall, making leaks difficult to spot. You can order your free test strips on United Utilities’ website to check for leaks in your loo.

Save money in the kitchen

Here are our top tips for saving energy (and money) as you make meals throughout the week.

  • By using your microwave more, you’ll save energy because it’s quicker than using the oven or stove. It’s worth considering a slow cooker too, as they’re one of the most energy-efficient kitchen appliances.
  • When making tea or coffee, most of us fill the kettle right up. By filling your kettle just to the level you need, it could save you up to a third of the energy you have been using.
  • Opening the oven door when food’s cooking lets heat out and uses more energy. It slows down cooking too – so use the window to check on food instead.
  • Regularly defrosting your current fridge and freezer keeps ice under control and keeps everything working efficiently.
  • Consider energy ratings when buying new appliances
  • If you’re renewing any appliances in the kitchen, check the energy ratings of the models you are looking at. Choosing more energy-efficient options can be a way of making long-term savings. For example, an A rated fridge freezer can save you around £190 in energy over its lifetime.

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