Heating and hot water makes up over half your bill and so a big part of your carbon footprint. If you have them, using your thermostat and heating timers to heat only when you need it could cut your carbon emissions by 300kg, equivalent to 200 deep baths. Turning radiators off in any rooms that are not needed can also help save.
While big changes are needed to the UK’s housing stock, there are some quick changes you can make which can bring many benefits.
- Tackle rising bills. Investing some time and energy now could pay off and help you shear hundreds of pounds off rising bills.
- Get fit for the future. With £1 in £4 spent on heating going to waste, investing in your home's efficiency is better for your wallet and may even increase the value of your home.
- Have a more comfortable home. Living in a well-insulated, cosy home is also more comfortable, quieter and better for your health and wellbeing.
- Get self-sufficient. Reducing your energy demand means you are less likely to be affected by volatile prices and even installing renewables where possible means you are less reliant on the grid or impacted by power cuts.
- Reduce your environmental impact. 22 per cent of the UK's carbon emissions comes from heating and powering our homes. Reducing your home energy use is one of the biggest things you can do to tackle climate change.
When it comes to being savvy with energy, you should:
- reduce your energy by turning things off using timers and settings to be in control of your home energy use
- get energy efficient by keeping the heat in with better insulation and using more efficient appliances and lighting
Nine top tips to reduce your demand and your bills
1. Use your heating settings
2. Dial down one degree
18 degrees is the recommended temperature for corridors, and 21 degrees for rooms you are sitting in. If your thermostat is set higher than that, try turning it down by one degree, which will also reduce your carbon footprint by 300kg.
3. Be a bright spark
Lightbulbs are small but mighty, making up 15 per cent of your home energy bill. It is common sense to switch lights off when you do not need them, but you can up your energy saving by switching to LED bulbs too.
4. Keep your hot water toasty
If you have a hot water cylinder in your home fit it with an insulating jacket, which costs about £15. By increasing the thickness of the jacket from 25mm to 80mm, or three inches, you will be locking in the warmth.
5. Flick the switch
Turn off plug sockets to stop electricity flowing into chargers and appliances when they are not in use. Smart plugs can turn off hard-to-reach plugs off using your smartphone and tell you which of your appliances use the most energy.
6. Tackle draughty spots
Foam or brush strips will block up gaps in windows, or get crafty and make a draught excluder for doors. Stuff a pair of tights with scraps of local treated sheep's wool, add some rice to weigh it down, cut off an old trouser leg, put the tights inside it and sew up either end. If you have an open chimney you do not use, a chimney draught excluder stops heat escaping.
7. Use eco settings
Dishwasher and washing machines make up 10% of household energy bills, so washing only when full and at 30 degrees uses 57% less energy. Cutting just one cycle per week helps save. Stack your dishwasher as efficiently as possible or use a washing up bowl if doing dishes by hand.
8. Sing in the shower
Could you swap baths for showers? Spending one less minute in the shower could save money off your water bill if you are on a meter. The optimal time to spend in the shower is four minutes, so try cutting down a minute at a time or pick your favourite four-minute song.
9. Get savvy with your brew
Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need by using the cup indicator in your kettle or filling a cup you are using with the water you need, then pour it into the kettle.