10 Quick Wins to Save Energy

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Saving energy and being energy efficient isn’t just about going ‘green’, they’re also a great way to lower your energy bills, allowing you to have a bit of extra money each month.

The following quick wins are designed to be just that- quick and easy hints and tips which don’t require any financial investment and take minimal time.

1) Switch off or unplug any appliances you don’t need on. Appliances that have a stand-by light, or are hot to touch when they’re plugged in, are using energy just by being plugged in. So next time you leave the house in the morning, take your TVs plug out the wall, and make sure every switch which isn’t 100% necessary is turned off. 

2) Stop charging your phone when the battery’s full. Fully charged laptops and mobile phones still drain electricity, which can add up to £60 a year on your annual bills. Not only that, but constantly charging appliances can damage the battery and increase your chances of an electrical fire. Stopping charging your phone overnight can therefore make a big difference. 

3) Hang up your laundry. On warm or windy days (although let’s be honest, we normally get more windy than warm) hang your clothes outside rather than tumble drying them or hanging them inside. If you have to use the radiator, try to avoid putting the clothes directly on the radiator as this will make the radiator have to work harder to provide the same level of heating. If you must use a tumble dryer, take your shirts and formal clothes out before they’re completely dry, they’ll be much easier to iron and you’ll use less energy on drying. 

4) Empty your vacuum cleaner. Although vacuuming isn’t everyone’s favourite chore, you can make yours more energy efficient by emptying the dust collector after every use. A full bin means the vacuum has to work harder and uses more energy, to do the same job. Constantly having a full hoover also makes it more likely to break down which can lead to buying a costly replacement.

5) Fill your kettle with the correct amount of water, and only boil it once. If you’re guilty of filling the kettle to the brim then boiling it and reboiling it multiple times before you finally make your morning cuppa, stop! Although your kettle is an essential kitchen appliance, it is also one of the biggest users of energy so a bit of prior planning means you can drink your tea with the knowledge you’ve saved energy and money. 

6) If you can see red, change the ring. When cooking pasta or boiling your veg, make sure you’re using the right pan and the correct hob ring. On your electric hob if you can see red, or if there are visible flames around the pan on your gas cooker, you need to change to a smaller circle to avoid wasting heat. Equally, the opposite is true, if you’re cooking for 20, use a large pan on the largest ring to maximise your heating efficiency and minimise your cooking time. It’s also a good idea to use a lid. It stops heat escaping, which usually means you can use less energy and stops lots of steam from escaping into your kitchen potentially causing condensation. 

7) If you wash up by hand, use the bowl. Keeping the hot tap running when washing up uses unnecessary water and energy, so plug up your drain or use and bowl and give your hands a bath. 

8) Keep your fridge and freezer three-quarters full. Stocking your fridge and freezer with your favourite snacks will not only please the kids, a fully (but not over!) stocked chiller is more efficient and therefore requires less energy to keep your food cool. To fill up your fridge on the cheap, fill the gaps with bottles of water. Also, let hot food cool before you put it in the fridge and cover moist food so the fridge does not waste energy evaporating the moisture. 

9) Think ahead about your heating. Taking time to plan when your heating comes on and goes off can make you more aware of how much you’re using. Also making sure it comes on about 30 minutes before you wake up, and goes off 30 minutes before you go to bed, can make sure you’re not wasting any heat and energy when your duvet is doing the job. 

10) Make it a family affair. Play energy-saving games with your kids, and get them trained in spotting where energy is being wasted and lights, switches, and appliances have been left on. As an added bonus this could take them away from their consoles, saving you money from being switched off.

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