Saving energy in the home can be easy when you know how.  Use these tips to save energy in your home.

Buying new equipment for the home

  • When buying new equipment such as TVs, fridges and washing machines, pay attention to the Energy Star label to ensure you are purchasing an energy efficient product

Fridge and freezer

  • Make sure you buy the right size freezer for your family.  For a single household - 100–140 litres; for a family of four around 50 litres per person
  • Place your refrigerator in a cool, dry, well-ventilated area - avoid direct sunlight
  • To keep food fresh, a temperature of +5 degrees Celsius is ideal
  • Do not leave the fridge door open for longer than you need to 
  • Defrost your freezer regularly and remove excess ice to keep your power consumption low
  • Replace rubber seals to prevent refrigerant leakage
  • Turn off your fridge if you are away from home for a long time. Remember to leave the door open to prevent mould forming
  • Keep your fridge and freezer clean on the outside – if dust gathers on the external coils it can increase energy consumption

Washing machine and tumble dryer

  • Always fully load your machine 
  • Use energy saving settings 
  • Dry your clothes on a washing line when possible
  • Regularly clean your tumble dryer filters
  • Use Eco Balls in your tumble dryer. These create gaps in the washing so the heat moves more freely and the clothes dry quicker 

Dishwasher

  • Always fully load your machine 
  • Use a short wash programme with lower wash temperatures 

Water

  • Avoid having full baths, which consume 3x as much water and energy as a five-minute shower
  • If your shower is electric, try to keep shower times down to 10 minutes or buy a shower monitor to see how much hot water you're using
  • Repair dripping taps. If just 10 drops per minute fall, it means you are wasting 170 gallons of water each month

Computers

  • Consider using laptops or netbooks, which consume less energy than desktop PCs
  • Activate the power-saving settings on your computers. Set them to sleep mode if left untouched for 10 or 15 minutes
  • Turn computers off fully when not in use. Standby uses energy
  • Remember to switch off additional devices at the end of each day, including printers, scanners, etc

Chargers

  • Always disconnect chargers for mobile phones, razors, toothbrushes, etc when not in use. If they remain plugged in they still consume power

Light

  • Use energy saving light bulbs. They last up to 10x longer than standard bulbs, and using them can save approximately £40 over the lifetime of a bulb 

Heating and ventilation

  • Do not overheat your rooms. The ideal temperature is 18–20 degrees Celsius
  • Ensure all external doors are closed when the weather is cold
  • Close windows at night so the heat is contained in the home
  • Insulate windows and doors using foam or rubber strips
  • Programme thermostats to automatically turn down the heating at night and at other times when rooms are empty, such as weekends for example
  • Turn down the water heater by just a few degrees to make significant annual savings 
  • Insulate the walls behind your radiators
  • Bleed your radiators regularly 
  • Don't dry clothes on the radiators. It makes your boiler work harder
  • Use your central heating timer to switch the heating on and off rather than the thermostat
  • Use heavy curtains during the winter and close them as soon as it gets dark
  • Use letterbox covers and keyhole covers to keep draughts at bay
  • Install cavity wall insulation 
  • Install loft insulation 
  • Fit double glazing to minimise heat loss through windows
  • Make sure your water tank is insulated to keep water hotter for longer
  • Replace boilers that are more than 15 years old

General

  • Use a smart meter for more accurate billing 

TV and Hi-Fi equipment

  • Don’t use standby mode
  • Some appliances use an external power supply, which should be unplugged from the socket when you are not using the unit

Cooking

  • If you are boiling vegetables use just enough water to keep them covered
  • Use the kettle to boil water instead of heating the water in a pan
  • Always use the right size of pan and use the lid
  • Use a microwave or a pressure cooker instead of the oven
  • Don't leave the oven door open for longer than you need to
  • Switch the oven off sooner than the recipe tells you to – some dishes will still cook when the oven is cooling

Your home

  • Do not cover your radiators with panelling, curtains or furniture
  • If you have high ceilings, put shelves just above the radiators to move the heat into the centre of the room