Energy in the home – we couldn’t do without it. We might be reliant on the energy we consume but that’s no reason to be wasting what is, after all, a valuable resource and one that is costing us money each month.
Energy efficiency – saving energy in a way that lets us continue to enjoy the comfort and standard of life to which we have become accustomed – therefore, is a subject worth closer examination. Energy efficiency means energy saving – so let’s consider some of the tips and suggestions for doing just that:
How can I save energy?
- energy saving measures are many and varied – they might range from relatively significant investments, such as installing solar panels for an alternative, “green” energy source, or replacing your central heating boiler. To countless minor steps that can be taken on a daily basis, but which add up to significant savings over the course of a year;
- the Energy Saving Trust, for example, has listed just 12 simple steps you might take that each saves just a handful of pounds over the course of a year, but which added together come to savings of more than £350;
- as British Gas puts it, small changes can make big differences – the important thing is to be consistent in your energy-saving attitudes, stick with them, and the savings are bound to add up;
- probably your greatest energy consumption and the most expensive energy bills are likely to come from heating your home and providing hot water for bathing and washing;
- by installing and using relatively simple and straight forward heating controls – such as room thermostats, a programmer or timer, and thermostatic radiator valves – an article in Which? magazine on the 12th of February 2021 estimated that you could be saving up to £75 a year on your energy bills;
- and that is not to mention the environmental benefit of reducing the carbon emissions from your home by some 320 kg every year;
- we have grown accustomed to heating the whole house – and regularly replacing the central heating boiler certainly helps to do this more efficiently – but if you are only using one room, or if you are out at work most of the day, you can probably save money on the heating bills by turning the thermostat down real low and relying on a portable electric heater to warm up any room you need – as and when you need it;
- the efficient heating of your home – however many rooms you are aiming to keep warm – relies on keeping in the heat your energy generates and keeping out the draughts that drain away that heat;
- draught-excluding measures are perhaps some of the simplest and most straight forward measures you can take – draught-proofing tape around windows and doors, for instance, an inflated pillow to block off an unused fireplace and chimney, silicone-based fillers for those gaps in the floorboards and skirtings, and a draught-proofed hatch to the loft;
- all those electrical gadgets, devices, and appliance which you leave on standby are probably costing you as much as £35 a year to keep in that standby mode – so save the money, by simply switching them off at the power source;
- a more obvious sign that valuable energy is going to waste is when lights are left turned on when no one is in the room – remember to turn them off;
- whilst on that subject of lighting, remember that an energy-saving LED light bulb costs only around £1.71 a year to run and over its (longer) lifetime can prove almost £180 cheaper than an old-style incandescent filament bulb;
- your appliances are likely to be heavy consumers of the energy you use – so choose those appliances with care, investing in those which proclaim their qualities with an EU energy-efficiency rating (where the dark green “A” represents the most efficient and dark red “D” the least energy efficient);
- the savings you can achieve simply by choosing the most energy-efficient appliances are considerable argues the article in Which? magazine – citing savings of £48 a year on washing machines, £96 on tumble dryers, and £69 on fried-freezers.
Your energy suppliers
All of those energy-saving measures may be to no avail, however, unless you are certain you are getting what you consider to be the best value for money in the deal from your energy supplier.
Remember that in most parts of the country you will have a choice of suppliers, so take advantage of the competition and switch to those that are currently offering the best deals – you could be saving up to £200 a year simply by choosing a more competitive supplier.
Let’s hear it for water, too
When looking at the potential for energy-saving measures in the home, water consumption often gets overlooked.
The average UK household consumes around 330 litres of this precious resource every day of the year. Not only does that represent a considerable depletion of a scarce resource, but you are paying for it too.
Make water-saving measures as important a lifestyle choice as your energy-saving.
By making a conscious effort and, in some cases, making relatively small changes, you can make your home much more energy efficient – not only saving you money, but helping the planet too!