Energy Saving Tips
Taking a number of simple steps to reduce your energy usage will save you significant sums of money and helps tackle climate change.
Save energy without spending a penny
- Turning your thermostat down by one degree (1º C) could cut your heating bills by up to 10 per cent. The World Health Organisation recommends that a living room should be between 18 and 21º C.
- Is your water too hot? Your cylinder thermostat shouldn't be set higher than 60º C / 140º F.
- If you have storage heaters, remember to close the output dial (sometimes called the damper or boost control) before you go to bed or if you go out during the day. This stops the release of heat when it is not needed.
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping through the windows, making sure that they do not cover your radiator.
- Do not put furniture in front of a radiator as it absorbs the heat instead of it spreading into the room.
- Lighting accounts on average for 15% of our electricity bill. Don't light rooms that aren't in use and always turn off the lights when you leave a room.
- Don't leave appliances like televisions and computers on standby and remember not to leave appliances like mobile phones on charge unnecessarily. Things left on standby are still using electricity and could be using 20% of your electricity per year.
- Remember to use the 'half load' or 'economy' setting on your washing machine if you do not have a full load. Also, all modern detergents are designed to clean successfully at 30 or 40 C and there is no need for a pre-wash. Washing at 65º C requires twice as much energy as washing at 40º C.
- Only fill your kettle with as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements if you're using an electric kettle).
- A dripping hot water tap wastes energy, so make sure they're fully turned off.
- Always put the plug in your basin or sink. Leaving hot water taps running with it removed is like washing money down the plughole.
- Spending one minute less in the shower each day will save around £8 off your energy bills each year, per person.
- Choose the right size pan for the food and cooker and put lids on pots when cooking. The food cooks quicker, which saves energy, and releases less moisture into the kitchen.
- Avoid putting hot or warm food straight into the fridge; allow it to cool down first, otherwise the temperature rises in your fridge and put other food in the fridge at risk.
- Freezers or fridges that are filled with frost have to work harder to stay cold. They should be defrosted at least once a year or more frequently if they regularly frost up.
Energy saving - spend a little and save a lot (under £10)
- Replace your light bulbs with energy saving recommended ones - just one can reduce your lighting costs by up to £100 over the lifetime of the bulb - and they last up to 12 times longer than ordinary light bulbs.
- Eliminate draughts and wasted heat by installing a cheap, easy-to-fix brush or PVC seal on your exterior doors. Letterboxes and keyholes should be covered too.
- Gaps in floor boards and skirting boards allow heat to escape and let in draughts. Fill them with newspaper, beading or sealant.
- An insulating jacket for a hot water tank only costs a few pounds and pays for itself within months. Fit a British Standard jacket that's at least 80mm (3") thick and you could save around £20 a year.
- Hot water pipes should be insulated to stop heat escaping. The best pipes to insulate are the ones between the boiler and hot water cylinder.
Energy saving - big improvements, huge savings
- Insulating your loft is one of the simplest and most effective ways to save energy. Fitting loft insulation to the recommended depth of 270mm will save around £135 per year on the heating bill of a typical mid-terraced house.
- Around 33% of the heat lost in your home is through the walls, so insulating them can be the most cost-effective way to save energy in the home - you could typically save £90 on your annual heating bill in a flat or £155 in a semi-detached house. As well as keeping you warm in the winter, cavity wall insulation will keep you cool in the summer.
- If your boiler is over 15 years old it's probably time to replace it. By law, new boilers must now be of the high-efficiency condensing type. They can help you save up to a third on your heating bills and even more if you upgrade to modern controls.
- Your home could be losing up to 20 per cent of its heat through single glazed and poorly insulated window frames. With double glazing you can cut these losses by over a half.
- When replacing appliances, look for ones displaying the energy saving recommended logo. The energy saving recommended logo appears on a wide range of products including fridges, freezers, dishwashers, washing machines, tumble dryers, light bulbs, light fittings, gas boilers and heating controls.
All energy suppliers offer free energy efficiency and energy saving advice. The telephone numbers for the big 6 are as follows:
For Further Information Contact
Home Energy Advice Team
Kilncraigs, Greenside Street, Alloa, FK10 1EB
Tel: 01259 450000