Central Heating & Thermostatic Controls
- Turn your thermostat down by just 1 degree centigrade. This will cut 10% off your heating bill. You should normally set your central heating thermostat between 18 & 20 C. If you are not at home turn the thermostat down to a low setting such as 10 degrees centigrade just to protect your property from the effects of freezing. Cost : £0. Annual saving: up to £60
- Let the sunshine in. On a sunny day, opening your curtains will let warmth into your house, but when it’s colder or the sun goes down don’t forget to close them to keep that heat in. Cost : £0
- Keep your radiators clear. For example, don’t put a sofa in front of your radiator, because it will absorb a lot of the heat. Cost : £0
- If your radiators are fixed to the outside wall, put radiator panels behind them to reflect the heat back into the room.
- For properties with high ceilings, placing a shelf just above the radiator helps to deflect the heat into the centre of the room rather than it drifting straight up to the ceiling.
- Fit thermostatic controls to your radiators and a timer to your boiler to ensure heat is provided when and where it is needed.
- Get cosy. Wearing more jumpers, socks and slippers around the house, and putting an extra blanket on the bed means you won’t be tempted to turn the heating up.
- Most people have their hot water setting at too high a level. Set your hot water to 60 degrees centigrade. Cost : £0. Annual saving : £15 per year
- And dont forget to use a plug in your basin or sink to prevent a wasteful use of hot water. Particularly when washing up. Cost : £0. Annual saving £15 per year.
- Insulate your water tank to keep your water hot for longer.
- Keep your showers to less than 10 minutes – or invest in a shower monitor to keep an eye on how much hot water you’re using.
- Switch off electric appliances (this includes TVs, videos, stereos, computers, cordless phones, electric toothbrushes.) at the plug when not in use. Switching off by the remote control and leaving appliances on standby or on charge when not neccessary wastes energy. However, make sure your appliance does not need to be left on to operate or maintain memory functions such as a Sky box. Cost : £0
- Don’t forget also, to switch off lights when not in use. (It has been estimated that if everyone did this it would save enough energy to power a town like Colchester.) Cost £0
- Whenever you buy a new appliance, first of all make sure you need it and make sure it is suitable for your needs. If you do need to buy an appliance make sure it is an energy efficient one. An ‘A’ rated appliance tends to use only half the energy of a ‘G’ rated model.
- Laptops typically use 85 per cent less electricity over a year than desktop PCs. Choosing a laptop over a desktop and reducing standby could save up to £17 per year.
Electric appliances – Fridges and Freezers
- Check door seals. They should be able to grip a piece of paper tightly If the don’t they need replacing.
- Keep the fridge at 2-3 C and the freezer at -15 C . Use a fridge thermometer to check the temperature
- Load and unload your fridge as quickly as possible and don’t leave the fridge door open for longer than you need to.
- Keep the fridge away from any other heat sources such as a cooker, ideally near any outside, cooler wall
- Make sure the air flow at the back of the fridge is not blocked or limited.
- Get the feather duster out from time to time. When dust gathers on the condenser coils at the back of your fridge, it uses more energy.
- Defrost the fridge regularly.
- Keeping them full means they don’t have to work as hard and therefore they use less energy. Empty space in your fridge or freezer wastes not only space but energy too.
- Don’t put hot food in the fridge, it messes up the temperature inside. Leave it to cool naturally first.
In The Kitchen – Cooking
- Only heat the amount of water you need. Use boiled water immediately rather than leaving it for a while and then re-boiling.
- Use the kettle to boil water for cooking, instead of heating a pan on the stove. It’s quicker and uses less energy.
- Put well fitting lids on pans.
- Don’t have gas flames so high they lick the sides of pans.
- When using an electric cooker use absolutely level bottomed pans or pots which are the correct size to cover the rings.
- Try using a pressure cooker. Cooking a roast chicken in a pressure cooker takes approximately half the time it would need in an oven, and it’s especially good if you like your roast falling apart. As an optional extra you can crisp it up a bit by putting it in the oven for around 15 minutes afterwards.
- Use the microwave instead of the oven – it cooks food quicker and so uses less energy. Microwaves often provide a much more energy efficient way of cooking food than in the oven. This is because microwave ovens use energy to directly heat your food, whereas electric ovens must also heat the air inside the oven.
- Heat your home with cooking. Leave the oven door open after cooking to let the heat warm your kitchen. The oven might give off enough heat for you to adjust your thermostat, a far more efficient use of that stored heat than throwing it out of your home with an extractor fan.
- Save time and stock up. If you’re going to use the oven, bake a few meals at a time to get the most out of having your oven on. After all, oven’s allow us to heat more than one shelf at a time so why waste your heat?
In The Kitchen – Washing
- Try to ensure the washing machine is full when you use it. If it isn’t use the half-load setting. If you can, do the week’s laundry in one go and put a full load into the machine.
- Use low temperature washes whenever possible.
- Hang up your laundry. Try to air – dry clothes naturally on a clothes line or clothes horse, rather than by a tumble dryer, particularly if there’s warm or windy weather. What’s more nothing smells fresher than air-dried clothes.
- Use ecoballs in the tumble dryer. They spread out your washing so your clothes dry quicker.
- As tempting as it is, don’t dry clothes on the radiators. It makes your boiler work harder than it needs to.
Other Energy Savers
- Use your curtains wisely. Open your curtains to let more light in instead of switching on lights. Close your curtains at dusk however to prevent heat escaping through your windows. Cost : £0. Annual saving £15 per year
- Stop draughts. Check out our top ten tips to preventing draughts