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8 Ways to Reduce Your Household Energy Consumption

Illustration of a household reducing energy consumption and saving money

Switching your tariff isn’t the only way of saving money on your energy bills: a large majority of us in the UK are spending needless amounts of money on things that could be rectified with little-to-no change in our consumption habits. Not only is reducing your energy consumption good for your bank balance, but for the world that we live in too: reducing our carbon footprint is increasingly vital if we are to continue living the way we are today. By changing our consumption habits ever so slightly, with little-to-no effort, we are able to save hundreds of pounds per year on our energy bills whilst also contributing towards a sustainable future. Below we have suggested 8 common simple saves that we can all use:

1. Not in use? Switch it off.

Light switch

One of the most obvious and basic money saving tips, however one that a large amount of seem to struggle with, is switching appliances off when we are not using them. For example: switching lights off when nobody is in the room; switching the TV off when nobody is watching it; leaving your phone or laptop on when it is fully charged. Making a mental effort to turn things off when you aren’t using them has the potential to save you tens if not hundreds of pounds per year!

2. Not in use? Unplug it.

Unplug your unused appliances

If an appliance is seldom used, you should unplug it. Even if it is turned off but still plugged in, your appliance is still using electricity. According to the US Department of Energy, around 5%-10% of residential electricity bills are made up of those items that are plugged in 24 hours a day. We are not suggesting that you unplug literally everything when you’re not using it, as what we’re trying to do here is save money on your bills without drastically changing your consumption habits. However, what we are suggesting here is that the items that you pretty much never use shouldn’t be connected to the mains.

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3. Switch to LED Lights

LED light bulbs

Switching to LED Energy saving light bulbs can save you hundreds of pounds of year, seeing them use up to 90% less electricity than your older filament type bulbs. LED (Light Emitting Diodes) bulbs are around 10 times more efficient at converting electricity into light than those that we having been using previously. According to a study made by The Telegraph, changing 10 older-style light bulbs, each with a 60W output that were switched on for an average of 10 hours per day, would result in a £240 yearly saving.

4. Say no to screensavers

No computer screensavers

Avoiding using a screensaver on your computer can save you a surprising amount of energy for when you are temporarily not using your computer. Screensavers keep your screen and background active and therefore still requires a large amount of energy to keep it running. Setting a sleep timer on for your computer can avoid this issue and save you some cash. For example, you could go into your settings and say that after 10 minutes of inactivity you would like your computer to go into sleep mode.

5. Full loads! Clothes & Dishes

Washing machine

Waiting that little bit longer until you have a full load for your washing machine or dishwasher can save you money on both your water and electricity. If you have half a load of clothes that need to be washed, why not leave it another day or two until you have a full load? Washing one large load will use considerably less energy than washing two medium loads. Same goes for washing your pots and pans in the dishwasher; waiting a little longer til you have a full load can save you considerable amounts with no extra effort.

6. Hang your clothes to dry

Dry your clothes on the line

One of the most simple energy saving tips that we as Europeans are great at is air drying clothes. Using a drying machine to dry clothes is an unnecessary waste of energy. Investing in a small washing line or airer/clothes horse if you do not have one already is a smart energy saving move that sees next to no change in your lifestyle.

7. Turn the heat down

Turn down your thermostat

Turning your thermostat down by a couple of degrees may seem like a trivial change, which it is in terms of room temperature; however, it can make a huge difference to your bills. Based on a typical 3 bedroom, semi-detached house, turn your thermostat down by just one degree can save you between £80-85 per year.

8. Stop heating rooms for no reason

Turn off the radiator

Using your radiator valves to turn off radiators in rooms that do not need to be heated, such as a spare room or study, can prevent unnecessary heating costs. This is the same principal as turning off appliances when they are not in use; however, some people don’t know that you are able to turn off individual radiators.

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