Save money for Christmas with these energy saving tips
Whether you want to save money for the kids going back to school, the winter months or Christmas, if you follow these simple energy saving tips it should be easy.
- Check that the central heating is on when people are in the house as heating an empty house is a waste of energy and money. For example, set the heating to come on 20 minutes before the family gets up in the mornings and have it go off 15 minutes before they leave the house
- The Energy Saving Trust estimates that a boiler accounts for about 60 per cent of energy bills. If it is more than 12 years old, it may be worth replacing. The Heatline Monza costs £519 and is one of the highest efficiency combi boilers around
- Hot water should be set for 60C. Any higher is a waste of energy; any lower and there may be a risk of micro organisms forming
- Don’t turn thermostatic radiator valves off, even if you are not using a room. Sometimes they can stick when turned back on again. Set to the frost setting instead.
- Ensure that loft insulation is 270mm (about 11”) and that it is between the joists of the loft. Cavity walls should also be insulated and it can usually be professionally insulated in just 1 day from the outside of a home.
In the kitchen
- Fridges should be set at between 3 and 5C to keep food in good condition and electricity costs under control.
- 18C is the optimum temperature for freezers. Try to keep your freezer full as it will work more efficiently – you could use bread or even newspaper for bulk.
- Washing clothes with modern detergents allow washing machines to work effectively at just 30C. This uses 40% less electricity.
- Try switching to a 'quick wash' setting on dishwashers. This can be surprisingly effective for lightly soiled items.
- New appliances for a home should now be the most energy-efficient models. Over 49% of the electricity consumed by UK households is estimated to be from using kitchen appliances and this is more than double the amount of that the UK used in the 1970 in kitchens.
- B&Q now only sells fridges, washing machines, freezers and dishwashers that are A rated or better. In fact, the EU Energy Labels that are on many appliances have had to be redesigned this year to show grades up to A+++.
- Lighting accounts for about 20% of an electricity bill. To reduce this, just change the light bulb
- Incandescent and halogen light bulbs use some of the electricity they are supplied with for light, but they also produce heat. This makes them less efficient, short lived and more expensive to run than modern energy efficient light bulbs. Changing to energy saving light bulbs can mean that it uses up to 80 per cent less electricity and from B&Q they cost from as little as £1.
Around the house
- The Energy Saving Trust estimates that £1 billion worth of energy is wasted in the UK every year by people leaving appliances on standby. They have also calculated that powering IT equipment now accounts for about 13% of the average UK household electricity bill.
- To reduce costs use intelligent sockets or extention leads. Plug a PC into the “master” socket, plug the printer, speakers and any other peripherals into the “slave” sockets. When turning off a PC, all the peripherals are then automatically turned off.
- They also work well for televisions – but do ensure to plug any set top hard drive recorders (e.g. “Sky plus”) into another socket so that TV shows are still recorded.
- Investing in an electricity monitor highlights exactly where energy is being spent around the home. The Owl Monitor from B&Q costs £24.98 and has the benefit of being wireless.
Last updated: about 3 years ago