Welcome and we're glad to see that you've decided that you want to save money by cutting the cost of your energy bill? Well, you've come to the right place. We have lots of helpful advice and tips to enable you to conserve energy and save money by cutting the amount of energy you waste.
What is energy efficiency and what’s all this about energy-saving advice?
Usually, the term ‘energy efficiency’ is used to describe the attempt to achieve a similar result by using less energy, e.g. the lighting and heating of a house. It can also refer to everything from small changes such as more energy-efficient appliances and computers in the home to more efficient power stations or energy saving in a business.
One of the more obvious examples of energy efficiency is the use of compact fluorescent (CFL) light bulbs, more commonly called energy efficient bulbs. These can use as much as fives times less energy than a conventional bulb while producing the same amount of light.
What’s the difference between energy efficiency and energy-saving?
Though the two are often used interchangeably, efficiency is just one aspect of energy-saving. Energy-Saving can also include technologies such as automated light systems that only turn on when they detect movement or changes in behaviour such as encouraging individuals to turn appliances off standby.
What can energy efficiency mean for you?
In your home, energy efficiency will mostly apply to electrical appliances and heating. Successive Governments have persuaded electrical appliance manufacturers to produce increasingly low-energy devices, such as refrigerators, televisions, washing machines and even desktop computers.
There are some simple energy efficiency measures that can be taken in the home like draught-proofing windows and doors. Replacing standard, incandescent bulbs with efficient, modern energy-saving bulbs can save you pounds every year. These efficient light bulbs create the same amount of light but at a lower wattage than a normal bulb, for example, an ordinary 60 watt bulb is equivalent to 13 18 Watt energy saving light bulbs.
When shopping for new electrical appliances you should seriously consider those appliances that have the most efficient rating. All major manufacturers in Europe will have labelled their products with a label similar to the example below. Try to buy an A-Rated appliance if possible as these are the most energy efficient.
Setting the thermostat to 60°C / 140° F is fine for bathing and washing should be satisfactory for most people. This could save up to £10 a year.
Always put the plug into your sink or basin. Leaving hot water taps running with no plug is like flushing money down the plughole.
In most homes lighting accounts for 10 – 15% of the electricity bill. Swap your inefficient traditional light bulbs for energy efficient bulbs instead. These will reduce your bills because they only use a fraction of the energy needed to operate a traditional bulb
These bulbs cost less to run, but also last longer than normal bulbs, meaning you don’t have to change them as often which helps the environment.
Always turn lights off when you leave a room even if it is for only a few minutes, you should also turn off your fluorescent lamps if the space is not going to be occupied for more than a few minutes (3-5 minutes is a good rule of thumb). Modern lamps do draw a higher level of current during start up, but it only lasts for a fraction of a second, which is negligible compared to normal current requirements of the lamps.
Do not leave the door open for longer than necessary, as the more cold air that escapes the harder the fridge has to work to maintain the chosen temperature.
Avoid putting warm or hot food straight into the fridge, allow it to cool first.
Defrost your fridge regularly to keep it running efficiently and cheaply. If it shows a tendency to frost up quickly then the door seal may be faulty.
If you must put your fridge next to your cooker or boiler, leave as big a gap as possible between them.
Televisions, Videos, stereos, computers and cordless phones
In order to cut down on wasted energy, avoid leaving appliances on standby and remember not to leave them on charge unnecessarily. Always check the operation manual to make sure that this won’t reset the appliances memory.
Washing machines and tumble dryers
Whenever possible, wash a full load or use a half-load or economy program if your machine has one.
User a lower temperature program. 40° or even 30° is generally OK for most of the wash cycles.
Don’t put dripping wet clothes into the tumble dryer, wring them or spin dry them first. They will dry much faster and save you money.
Use the lowest temperature program available and ensure you wash a full load.
Leaving the immersion heater on all day can prove very expensive. Use a timer or switch the heater on when necessary.
Kettles and Coffee Makers
Use the minimum amount of water necessary for a cuppa, but ensure that the element is covered. This will use the optimum amount of energy and ensures you are not re-heating the same water
Oil heaters & Electric Heaters
These use very large amounts of energy, so use them only when they are needed.
If you decide to install a new boiler seriously consider fitting a new energy efficient boiler or a condensing boiler. These are very efficient and could save you around a third of your heating bills. This saving will be increased if you also upgrade to modern controls.