Energy saving tips

  • Turn down your room thermostat by 1°C - you won't notice the difference and it could save you 10% on your fuel bill! BUT don't reduce the heat where it's really needed - don't risk the health of you or others.
  • Make sure your heating and hot water is only switched on when you need it - if you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on as required rather than all the time.
  • Fit aluminium foil or reflective panels behind radiators. This reflects heat back into the room rather than the walls absorbing and losing the heat
  • Shelves above radiators put heat into the centre of the room rather than letting it collect on the ceiling.
Hot Water
  • Don't have your water too hot. Setting the hot water thermostat at 60°C is adequate.
  • Make a habit of putting the plug in the basin or sink when you wash your hands or dishes - leaving hot water taps running is wasteful and expensive.
  • When you can, take a shower instead of a bath - a shower can use only two-fifths of the amount of hot water needed for a bath.
  • Fix dripping taps quickly and turn hot water taps off properly. In only one day, a dripping hot water tap can waste enough water to fill a bath.
  • Don't waste time loading or unloading the fridge or freezer, and don't leave the door open or ajar - the cold air escapes and it costs more to get back to the right temperature.
  • Never put warm or hot food straight into the fridge or freezer - let it cool down first. Putting warm food into a fridge or freezer can lead to a build up of frost which makes the machine less efficient, and can also increase the risk of food poisoning.
  • Regularly defrosting fridges and freezers keeps them functioning well and also reduces running costs.
  • Site the fridge/freezer well away from your cooker and boiler, or at least leave a good gap between them.
  • Choose the right size pan for what you're cooking. If the pan does not cover the electric ring, or flames on a gas hob are coming up the side of the pan - you're heating the kitchen and not cooking your food!
  • Put lids on saucepans and turn down the heat when the food starts to boil. The lids keep the heat in and reduce condensation in the home whilst cooking.
  • When boiling the kettle, only use the amount of water that you need, but be sure to cover the elements.
  • Don't use too much water in pans - using more than you need or over-cooking food wastes energy and spoils food. Also cut food up into smaller pieces - it cooks quicker!
Around the house
  • Close your curtains at dusk to keep heat from being lost through the windows. Don't let your curtains drape in front of radiators.
  • Fill any gaps in floorboards and under skirting boards with newspaper, papier mache, mastic or plastic wood. This will reduce draughts significantly.
  • You can install a low cost form of double glazing by taping polythene across window frames. Ordinary cling film will do but you can buy specialist packs from DIY stores.
  • Try to have full loads when using the washing machine and use the lower 40°C wash - with today's washing powders this temperature is more than adequate to clean clothes and will save you up to three quarters of the cost of the hottest cycle.
  • Avoid using tumble driers and radiators to dry your clothes; on nice sunny days clothes can be dried outside.
  • When ironing, sort your laundry first so that you iron delicates on a low setting first, and work your way through to fabrics that need the highest setting, such as linen.
  • Only use heat and light appliances when you really need them - don't leave TV's or videos on standby. Also switch off your PC screen when it's not being used!
  • The sun is the most readily available source of heat there is - and the cheapest! So make the most of it by opening internal doors of any rooms which get more sun than others and let the warm air travel through your home.

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