What are the best ways to save energy?
So you’ve recently bought your first home. It may seem like there’s loads of stuff you’re suddenly expected to know about saving energy. We felt the same! Most of it’s pretty straightforward and small changes can make a big difference in terms of energy efficiency, saving you money and keeping you comfortable.
We’ve put together some of the things we’ve learned along the way that might prove helpful:
Switch energy providers
You should have been given details of which Gas and Electricity supplier you have, the first thing you need to do is take meter readings and call them. I will create another blog about how you read the meter as they can be difficult, please check it out and then come back for the next stages. There are two reasons to call the energy provider straight away:-
1 – To give them the meter reading from when you move in and ensure you are not paying for someone else’s energy. They will update your contact details as well.
2 – To switch tariff. By default they will put you on their standard tariff, this is usually a few hundred pounds more expensive than their best tariffs. Don’t worry about which type of tariff you need to be on and accept whichever they propose as long as there are no termination clauses, this means you can live in the house for a few months to see how much energy you use before trying to find the ideal one for you.
Swap to energy saving lightbulbs
LED bulbs are great as they use 10% of the energy of a traditional incandescent bulb, they last 40% longer and are highly fashionable. You can even get LED’s that you can control from an app or even a home automation system. So, what are you waiting for?
Replace your old boiler
If your boiler is particularly old, it could be wasting up to 30% of your energy and it might also be difficult to source replacement parts if it breaks. Updating your boiler could save you problems and money in the long run.
Buy an energy monitor or smart meter
Energy Monitors and smart meters allow you to keep track easily of energy usage and spending and the data you gather may help you find the tariff that suits you best. Installing a smart heating system will cut your bills and make your usage easier to control. These gadgets allow you to turn heating up or down and schedule when you want it on or off from your phone, meaning you won’t waste energy warming your home when you’re not in to feel the benefit.
Thermostats are key
Room thermostats and thermostatic radiator valves are relatively cheap to install and could help you save a considerable amount of money in the long run. Why spend loads on heating a room you’re not in? Keep the temperature of your room at a base level and just turn the thermostat up in rooms that need some extra heat. You can even get ones that connect to a smart heating system, allowing you complete control.
Don’t leave appliances on standby
Switch off TVs, computers, washing machines, dishwashers at the wall… They can all guzzle energy even when not being used.
Get the best out of your radiators
If some radiators in your home are warming up quicker than others, or have cold areas, they may need bleeding or balancing. Both of these are easy to do and can affect how much money you spend on your heating. You could also invest in radiator reflectors, which direct as much as 95% of wasted heat – which would otherwise be lost by the wall behind the radiator – back into the room.
Draught-proof your home
Doors are there to stop draughts – use them! Make sure your doors and windows close properly. If you can’t afford to replace them, consider buying draught excluders – a cheap and efficient way to stop warm air escaping and cold air sneaking in.
Insulate, insulate, insulate
There are so many insulation options to keep your home warm and make sure the money you spend on heating isn’t wasted. Cavity wall insulation, external wall insulation and loft insulation can all greatly increase energy efficiency.
Don’t waste water
It costs money to heat water, so only heat what you are going to use. A few small changes can save a lot of money on bills over the year. Use a washing up bowl rather than washing up under a running tap. Get a water-saving shower head and when possible, take showers instead of baths.