Smart savings: Energy saving tips that may surprise you
Most people are already aware of the most common energy saving tips for the home; never leaving your gadgets on standby or only using as much water as you need for a bath. However, together with Northern Powergrid, who can help out with any electric connection around your property, we’ve put together this handy guide to energy saving tips that might just surprise you…
Invest in a smart thermostat
Did you know that if you turn your heating down by just one degree, you could shave up to £80 per year from your energy bill?
By investing in a smart thermostat, you can take the hassle out of monitoring all your household devices. While these handy gadgets can often come with a large price tag (some will set you back over a hundred pounds), they could take as much as a third off your heating bills long term. Smart thermostats are able to learn the required time that it takes to heat up your home and then adjust themselves accordingly so that the heating comes on at just the right time to bring your home to your desired temperature. This also means that you’ll never have to worry about coming in to a cold house – smart thermostats can be controlled using your mobile even when you’re out and about!
You can easily save energy in the bathroom too, especially if you use a shower. You can start by investing in a water-efficient shower head if your shower uses hot water directly from a tank or boiler, as opposed to it being electric. Doing so will mean that you’ll still get to enjoy a powerful shower whilst reducing the amount of hot water that you use. In fact, it’s been calculated that this nifty gadget could save you up to £75 a year on your energy bills!
Another helpful device that you should consider investing in is a shower timer – these are relatively inexpensive, with some models costing under £10. By reducing the amount of time that you spend in the shower by just one minute per day, you could save £7 a year per person in your household.
When it comes to cooking, it’s easy to use more energy than you need – the good news is that it’s also very easy to save energy with these tips! When cooking rice or vegetables on the hob, remember to only use enough water to keep them covered and ensure that you’re using the right sized pan. When you cook a small meal in a big pan, you waste energy as it takes longer to heat the contents – the same applies to using the correct sized ring on the hob.
If you love to bake, you can save time by baking more than one meal at once and saving some to heat up in the microwave later. After all, when you use the oven every shelf has to be heated up, so making the most of the free space helps you save energy.
If you cook chicken in the oven often, it may be wise to invest in a pressure cooker – after all, cooking chicken using a pressure cooker only takes about half the time that it would to cook it in an oven.
Your washing machine can also help you to save energy. Did you know that 90% of a washing machines energy expenditure comes from heating up the water? If you can turn down the temperature of your washes, for example from 60 degrees to 40 or 30 degrees, you can save up to a third of the cost of running the cycle. Remember to run a hot wash every now and again though, as this will help to keep your washing machine clean.
Ideally, you should try to fit a lot of clothes in your wash, as filling it only halfway or less wastes a lot of energy. Additionally, reducing the amount of washing cycles that you run by just one a week could see you saving £5 a year on your energy bills.
On the topic of laundry, try to refrain from drying clothes and garments on radiators. Doing so means that your home’s boiler will need to work harder than is necessary.
A well-stocked fridge is a good fridge!
Keeping your fridge and freezer as full as you can will mean that they won’t have to work as hard. If you always have empty shelves, downsizing may be a good option – just try to choose an A++ model when switching, as these can save an estimated £190 throughout their product lifetime.
Whatever you decide to do, be sure to defrost on a regular basis to prevent ice from building up – causing extra energy use. You shouldn’t neglect the area at the back of your fridge either, dust can build up around the condenser coils found at the back of the fridge and can lead to more unnecessary energy use.
Energy saving on the go
For around £20, you can now purchase plug sockets which have been designed to be switched on and off via your mobile.
This design will definitely come in handy if you’re out and about and suddenly remember that you forgot to turn off the TV at the wall. After all, by turning your gadgets off at the plug rather than leaving them on standby, you could save an average of £30 a year for your household.