‘Big Energy Saving Week’ – from January 18th to January 24th – is a national campaign to encourage people to use less energy in their homes. Not only is it a great way to be more sustainable but it can also cut hundreds of pounds off annual utility bills.
Here are some easy ways to reduce energy (and water) usage in your home.
- Turn your thermostat down by just 1 degree, and put on another layer. This could save you up to £100 per year.
- Use a bowl to do the washing up, instead of running the tap, to use less hot water.
- Most people wash their clothes too much, so consider whether you need to wash certain items as often. When you do wash clothes, do so at 30 degrees, and use a quick cycle to reduce the energy and the amount of water used.
- If you can, dry clothes naturally, on a rack (not radiators), especially on a nice day (outside if possible) if you don’t need them straight away.
- Keep your curtains open during the day to make the most of natural heating. Close them at dusk as the temperate then drops.
- Check around windows and doors for drafts, and check for cracks in flooring and skirting boards. Get any drafts dealt with as soon as possible, but you can use bubble wrap to block drafts temporarily.
- Move furniture away from heaters/radiators. Sofas or beds in the way can prevent the room from heating up properly.
- Keep the oven door open after use to take advantage of all that lovely residual heat.
- Do you always preheat the oven before use? It’s only really bread, pastry or dishes containing eggs (e.g. quiche, frittata) that might require a hot oven from the start.
- Pack your freezer tight. It takes less energy to keep a full freezer cold. Use ice cube bags or even newspaper to fill in any space.
- When you need to replace an appliance, for example a tumble dryer, look for one that has a good energy efficiency rating.
- As they pop, change your light bulbs to energy-saving LED ones. These are around 5 times more efficient than traditional bulbs.
- Turn lights off when not in use, and turn appliances off standby mode when not in use. Around 10% of electricity consumed in a house is used by appliances in standby mode. Also don’t leave gadgets charging for longer than is necessary.
- Take shorter showers or shallower baths.
- Install a low-flow shower-head and use a cistern bag in you toilet cistern to reduce water usage. Have a look at the Severn Trent website for free water-saving products: https://www.stwater.co.uk/wonderful-on-tap/save-water/free-ways-to-save/
For more information on becoming more energy efficient, switching you tariff or energy provider, and to check if you are eligible for support, go to: https://bigenergysavingwinter.org.uk/