With energy bills increasing for us all this month, cutting the amount of gas, electricity and water we use is a top priority for everyone this winter. There are lots of ways to reduce your consumption – and your carbon footprint. You’ll find 10 of our top tips below.
For more information and advice, you can visit www.energysavingtrust.org.uk.
1. See the light
Swapping just one standard light bulb for a Compact Fluorescent Light (CFL) fitting will reduce your home’s greenhouse gas emissions by a massive 400lbs. You’ll use 66% less energy too, so you’ll be quids-in. And don’t forget to turn lights off when you leave a room!
2. Take the power back
Hook up groups of appliances (like your TV, set-top box, Blu-ray player and games console) to multi-point sockets and switch them all off in one go when not in use. Make sure you turn off device chargers as soon as phones, tablets and laptops are fully juiced.
3. Keep it chilled
Keep your fridge and freezer seals clean and defrost your freezer regularly, if needed. Aim to keep both appliances at least 2/3 full, as this means there’ll be less air that needs cooling, and don’t keep fridge temperatures unnecessarily low; with the colder weather coming, it’s OK to turn it up a bit.
4. Cook smarter
Cooking food in bulk is a great way to save energy as you’ll need less oven time; freeze the extra portions for those busy days when you don’t have time to cook. Reheat the meals in the microwave, as this uses half the energy of a standard oven. Consider investing in other low-energy appliances such as a halogen oven, slow cooker, air fryer or steamer, too.
5. Hang tough
Your tumble drier might seem like a godsend at times, but did you know it emits 2-3kg of carbon for every hour it’s switched on? It’s easily the most expensive home appliance to boot. So, make the most of warm or windy weather and hang your clothes out to dry instead. Or, use an indoor airer with a window slightly open to avoid condensation.
6. Stay snug
Adding rugs or carpets to hard floors helps your home retain heat, reducing your energy bills by up to 6%. And, whilst no one wants to be cold, turn your boiler, radiator and hot water thermostats down to the lowest temperatures at which you feel comfortable.
7. Cool it down and fill it up
Setting washing machine to a lower temperature (150 or 30o) could make a big difference to your energy bills. Most dishwashers have an eco setting, too. To reduce water use, wait until your appliances are full before switching on, or use the half load setting.
8. Keep the home fires burning
If you have a wood-burning stove, you could be saving money on your central heating bills already. Why not do your bit for the environment, too, by switching to alternative log types that release fewer greenhouse gases?
9. Butt in
We might get plenty of rain in this country (less so this year, admittedly), but lawns and flower-beds may still need watering in the autumn. This can prove expensive if you have a water meter fitted, so lower your bills by investing in a water butt.
10. Party on
Filling your house with friends and family is one of the easiest – and most enjoyable – ways to heat your home in the winter months. So, turn the thermostat down, dim the lights and invite everyone round. With Halloween, Bonfire Night and the dreaded C word all just around the corner, there’s every excuse for a good knees-up.