50 energy saving tips to help you cut costs
As the cost of living continues to rise, most of us are looking for ways to cut our energy bills. So, we’ve come up with 50 suggestions to help you curb your spending by using less gas and electricity. The more tips you follow, the more you’ll save.
1.Turn down your thermostat - many people have their thermostats set at 20°C and above. But the World Health Organisation says 18°C is warm enough for healthy adults. According to EDF, reducing the temperature on your thermostat by just one degree could save the typical household £128 a year.
2.Check the settings on your combi boiler:
Flow temperature – this is the water that heats your radiators and it’s generally set higher than necessary. About 60°C is probably about right. This won’t lower the temperature of your home – your radiators will just feel a bit cooler and rooms may take slightly longer to get warm.
Hot water temperature – this is another setting that is often too high. You shouldn’t need to dilute the hot water in your bath with cold water. About 55°C should be hot enough.
Pre-heat function – pre-heating cuts the amount of time it takes for your water to heat up, but it can be costly. Save money by turning it off.
3. Make changes to your non-combi boiler – if you’ve got a condensing non-combi boiler, it’s probably set with one temperature for heating and hot water. To make sure the hot water is safe this temperature should be 70°C. But, if you get your boiler reconfigured by a Gas Safe engineer, you can set the temperatures separately and reduce the heating temperature to 60°C to save money. You can cut costs further by insulating your hot water cylinder (if it isn’t already). Cylinder jackets cost about £15.
4. Get your boiler serviced – this will ensure it’s running efficiently, helping you keep your heating bill down and potentially avoid expensive repairs. Once a year is ideal.
5. Check your boiler pressure – if the pressure is too low, it’ll make your boiler inefficient. Typically, the pressure should be between 1.0 and 2.0 bar, but check the manual for your specific model to confirm.
6. Don’t heat empty rooms – turn off radiators in rooms you’re not using.
7. Don’t heat an empty house – only have your heating on when you’re at home.
8. Heat people, not rooms – putting on an extra layer of clothing and getting cosy underneath a blanket can help you save on heating costs.
9. Close your curtains – Closing your curtains in the evening can cut heat loss by as much as 17%, according to EDF.
10. Insulate your home – Cavity wall insulation or loft insulation can dramatically reduce heat loss from your home. And if you’re on certain benefits, you may be able to get it installed for free by your energy supplier.
11. Fill your dishwasher – The Energy Saving Trust says cutting your dishwasher use by one cycle a week could save £17 a year, so don’t run it when it’s only half full.
12. Use a washing-up bowl – don’t waste energy by washing up under a running tap.
13. Change how you use your washing machine – Reduce the number of loads you do by making sure you always fill the machine. And try a colder setting. Washing at 30°C and cutting the number of loads by one a week could save you £34 a year.
14. Buy an air fryer – air fryers can be cheaper than ovens because cooking times are quicker. However, you’ll need to factor in the upfront cost of buying one.
15. Make sure you’re using your tumble drier efficiently – tumble driers eat up a lot of energy so use yours sparingly and make sure you clean the filters regularly so that your machine runs as efficiently as possible.
16. Check the temperature of your fridge and freezer – Fridges should be set to 5°C and freezers to -18°C. Don’t waste money by having them colder than this.
17. Clean your fridge – make sure you regularly clean the coils at the back of your fridge to help it work as efficiently as possible.
18. Give your fridge space – a free-standing fridge should have about 5cm of space on each side and at the back, and at least 2.5cm above it, so heat from the compressor has somewhere to go. Without this space, your fridge will have to work harder.
19. Don’t put warm food in your freezer – your freezer has to work much harder to stay cold if you fill it with food that’s still warm. Let leftovers cool down first.
20. Defrost your freezer – if there’s a build-up of frost, defrosting your freezer can boost its efficiency.
21. Turn off fast freeze – make sure this function on your freezer isn’t switched on all the time. Only use it when you want to freeze fresh foods quickly.
22. Don’t overfill the kettle – Only boil the amount of water you need. This could save you £13 a year.
23. Descale your kettle regularly – if you live in a hard-water area, this will help make sure your kettle is working as efficiently as possible.
24. Make use of your microwave – microwaves use less energy than ovens. For example, Sust-it worked out cooking a jacket potato in the microwave costs about 7p compared to 37p in the oven.
25. Replace old appliances with energy efficient ones – when you need to replace an appliance, check the energy rating before buying a new one. Choose one within your budget that’s as energy efficient as possible.
26. Use eco modes on appliances – where this option is available, it’ll mean using less energy and saving money. You’ll often find this setting on things like washing machines and dishwashers.
27. Don’t charge your mobile overnight – unplugging your mobile as soon as it’s fully charged helps save energy.
28. Use solar power to charge your devices – you can get your hands on a solar-powered charging bank for about £25.
29. Don’t leave devices on standby – the Energy Saving Trust says you can save about £65 a year by turning appliances off at the wall.
30. Close internal doors – keeping doors closed when you’re in a room helps keep the heat in and reduces draughts.
31. Draughtproof your home – using draught excluders and putting clingfilm on windows are just a couple of ways you can stop heat escaping from your home.
32. Line your curtains – buying lined curtains or lining your current ones with a thick material can help keep the heat in.
33. Hang curtains on internal doors – adding curtains to internal doors is another way to reduce draughts and keep in the heat.
34. Bleed radiators – if your radiators have cold patches at the top or they’re making gurgling noises, chances are they need bleeding. Doing this regularly will make sure your radiators are as energy efficient as possible.
35. Don’t block radiators – having furniture or curtains in front of your radiators can prevent them heating a room effectively.
36. Install radiator shelves – they stop heat rising and push it back into the room.
37. Install reflective panels behind radiators – putting a reflective material behind your radiators stops heat escaping through your outside walls.
38. Use radiator and woodburning stove fans – these help circulate the heat, warming a room more efficiently.
39. Batch cook meals – this can reduce oven use saving energy and cash.
40. Use pans efficiently – putting a lid on your pans, using the smallest pan possible and matching the pan size to the hob ring means you’ll use less energy.
41. Use the kettle to boil water for cooking – it might seem to make sense to boil water for cooking in a pan, but using the kettle is usually more efficient.
42. Boil pasta for just a few minutes – then leave it to stand letting the hot water do the rest.
43. Steam veg in the microwave – this is a cheaper option than using the hob.
44. Choose energy efficient lights – using LED bulbs throughout your home is a simple way to reduce energy consumption and save cash.
45. Turn lights off – turning lights off when you don’t need them could save the typical household about £25 a year.
46. Cut your water use – reducing the amount of water you use can cut costs if you’re on a water meter and, even if you’re not, it can save you money on your energy bills as - when you use less water – you tend to heat less water.
47. Take shorter showers – limiting shower time to four minutes could save a typical household £95 a year.
48. Swap your bath for a shower – swapping one bath a week with a four-minute shower could save you £20 a year.
49. Use a water-saving shower head – if the thought of shorter showers doesn’t appeal, a water-saving shower head may be a better idea. And if you’re not on a water meter, you can get one fitted for free in England and Wales via Save Water Save Money.
50. Monitor your energy use – installing a smart meter can help you decide if and how you need to change the way you use energy.
A qualified journalist for over 15 years with a background in financial services. Rebecca is Money Wellness’s consumer champion, helping you improve your financial wellbeing by providing information on everything from income maximisation to budgeting and saving tips.
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