Free ways to save energy at home

As the summer comes to an end and we move towards the time of year when daily energy costs grow, here are some tips for saving energy that won’t cost you a penny:

1. Turn Down Thermostats

The reasons for this are worth a whole article on their own but turning your thermostat down by just one degree will make very little difference to your comfort and a big difference to your cost and carbon footprint.

2. Switch OFF the lights and other appliances!

OK, lights aren’t the biggest consumers of electricity BUT they are the electrical appliances that are left on for the longest time in any house. A 100w bulb left on unecessarily for 2 hours a day will use the same amount of electricity in a week as the average kettle boiling non stop for 30 whole minutes. In a year thats the same as a kettle boiling for 26 hours.
Other appliances when left on standby can consume similar amounts of electricity.

3. Close Curtains at Night

This seems kind of obvious but when the temperature drops significantly at night, a considerable amount of heat is lost through the glass (even if it’s double/triple glazed). If you close blinds AND curtains as early as possible in the evening, you help to retain this heat and lessen the burden on your heating appliances.

4. Position fridges & freezers in cool places – away from heaters and direct sunlight

The less burden you put on the appliance’s cooling system, the less elctricity it will use. Also, always make sure that the doors are sealing correctly so warm air is not leaking into the appliance.

5. Fix leaking taps

If a hot tap has a drip, however slow, then the flow is causing cold water to enter your hot water cylinder unnecessarily lowering the temperature.
If you live in a house with its own pumped water source then leaking cold taps also cause energy costs as the pump must run more often.

6. Use timers for hot water and/or heating

If you have timers on your hot water or heating systems, USE THEM!
The amount of energy wasted heating rooms, houses or water when there is no need can be huge.

None of the above tips is ground-breaking, nor will it improve the rating given by a  BER Assessor , however every small step can add up to a large saving over a full winter. If you improve your energy consumption at home by cutting out energy wastage, you will benefit even more from changes that do affect BER ratings such as insulation, efficient boilers etc.

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