With rising energy costs, it is more important than ever to start reducing your energy use at home. As well as cutting down your electricity bills and saving money, you will have the knowledge that you are having a positive effect on the environment by helping to reduce the worlds non-renewable energy use.
There are many easy ways that you can become more energy efficient, from making small changes to how you do things around the home, to investing in the latest energy saving devices. Read our list of 100 energy saving tips and get started today.
Energy Saving Tips: Lighting your home
1. Use energy saving light bulbs: Switch your incandescent bulbs to energy saving light bulbs. Installing five low energy CFL light bulbs will cost about £15 and could save you as much as £32 a year.
2. Switch to LED bulbs. Invest in the latest in energy saving lighting, LED light. LED bulbs use up to 90% less energy than incandescent bulbs and last up to 10 times longer.
3. Lower your wattage. If you need to use incandescent bulbs in your home, use the lowest wattage possible to save energy.
4. Turn off unnecessary lights. Only turn on the light when necessary and think about how many lights you really need on. Lighting typically accounts for 7% of a households bill, so reducing your use will save you money on electricity.
5. Turn off the light when you leave a room. When you leave a room, no matter for how long, make sure to turn off the light so as not to waste electricity.
6. Use table lamps instead of ceiling lighting: A table lamp will use much less energy than a ceiling light and can create a warm and relaxing glow.
7. Place lamps in the corner of the room: Floor or table lamps in the corner of a room will reflect light from both walls, making the room brighter without additional lights.
8. Dim the lights: Use dimmer switches to reduce the amount of energy used to light your room.
9. Dust light fittings and bulbs regularly: Dust can block up to 50% of light output. Dust bulbs and light fittings regularly to increase their efficiency and brightness.
10. Control your outdoor lighting: For outdoor lighting, choose fittings with light controlling devices such as PIR motion detectors to provide light only when you need it and cut down on energy waste.
Energy Saving Tips: Heating your home
11. Keep heat constant and low: Instead of turning the heating on and off for big blasts of high heat, if you want to stay warm and save money on energy, keep it on a constant low setting.
12. Turn down the thermostat when you’re away from home: If you’re leaving the house for the evening or weekend, turn the thermostat right down. Don’t turn the heating system off completely in the winter as pipes could freeze.
13. Turn down the thermostat: Turning your thermostat down by 1°C can save you as much as £60 per year on your energy bill and you won’t feel much difference in temperature.
14. Put an insulating blanket around your boiler: This is a quick and easy way to increase your boilers efficiency by holding in heat.
15. Upgrade to a gas condensing boiler: If you’re thinking of switching your old boiler for a new one, consider a highly efficient A rated gas condensing boiler. Boilers account for around 55% of our energy bills, so an efficient boiler makes a big difference to your energy efficiency.
16. Layer up your clothing: Instead of turning on the heating when you’re cold, wear warm layers of clothing, socks and slippers around the house instead.
17. Cosy up with a blanket: On colder evenings, stay warm under a big cosy blanket.
18. Get cavity wall insulation: Cavity wall insulation makes your home more energy efficient and can save you around 15% on your energy bills. There are many government-backed grants available to help you pay for this.
19. Get loft insulation: Heat rises and as a result, up to 25% of the heat in your home could be disappearing into your loft. Having around 10 inches of loft insulation will make your home warmer and could save you up to 19% on your energy bills.
20. Turn down the thermostat when you have company: The collective body heat of a group of people will add to the room temperature so you can turn the heat down.
21. Seal air leaks: Keep the heat in by sealing any unwanted gaps in your home. Energy Star says that between improving insulation and sealing leaks, homeowners could potentially save 10% on their annual energy bill.
22. Use a draught excluder: Many homes lose heat through gaps around doors and windows. Use draft excluders to avoid heat loss in this way.
23. Stop letterbox drafts: Invest in a draft excluder for your letter box too. This will prevent cold air coming in and heat escaping through the door. A keyhole cover can also help to reduce drafts in doorways.
24. Dust radiators frequently: A layer of dust can impede the flow of warm air and reduce the efficiency of your radiators. Keep them dust free to save energy at home.
25. Update old windows to double glazing: If you live in an old home with single glazed windows, consider upgrading to double glazed windows to reduce your energy bill by up to £150 a year.
26. Seal unused doors: If your home has doors and windows that are not used but are letting in drafts, seal them with rope caulk. (Don’t permanently seal them in case of an emergency).
27. Use a boiler timer: Using a boiler with a timer allows you to set your hot water to come on only when you need it.
28. Use fans for cooling: In the summer, cool your house with fans instead of air conditioning to save energy.
29. Cover bare floors: Carpets and rugs will increase heat retention in cold rooms.
30. Avoid covering radiators: Putting large furniture such as a sofa in front of radiators will waste heat as it will be absorbed into the furniture instead of circulating around the room. This reduces their efficiency by 30%.
31. Use radiator panels: Put reflective foil panels behind radiators fixed to external walls. This will reflect the heat back into the room and stop it from escaping through the wall.
32. Keep curtains and blinds closed at night: Drawing the curtains at night will stop heat escaping. This can reduce your energy bill by £10-20 per year.
33. Let the sunshine in: When it’s sunny outside, open your curtains to let the warmth and heat inside. Once the sun goes down, make sure to close them to keep the heat in and reduce your heating costs.
34. Block your chimney: If you don’t use it, consider blocking up your chimney to reduce heat loss in your home.
Energy Saving Tips: In the kitchen
35. Keep your fridge at an optimum temperature: Between 3 and 5°C is the best temperature for fridges. A lower temperature will make your fridge work harder and use more electricity.
36. Keep your fridge dust free: Dust on the back of your fridge or freezer will prevent it from working properly. Keep your fridge dust free to improve its energy efficiency.
37. Cook a few meals at once: If you already have the oven on, cook or bake a few meals at a time to make the most of the heat. A full oven wastes less heat and you won’t need to use it as often.
38. Keep the oven door closed: Every time you open the oven door whilst cooking, the temperature can drop by 25°C.
39. Cut down on oven pre-heating: Many new ovens, especially ones with fans, heat up very quickly and don’t require a long pre-heating time.
40. Use the oven to heat your home: After cooking, leave the oven door open and let the heat warm your kitchen instead of turning up the thermostat.
41. Turn off the oven early: When your food is nearly ready, save energy by turning off the oven and allowing the existing heat to finish cooking.
42. Buy a halogen oven: Halogen ovens use 75% less energy than a conventional oven and cook food 50% faster, which will significantly reduce energy bills.
43. Don’t prewash dishes in hot water: When using a dishwasher, avoid pre-rinsing the dishes in hot water. Save water and energy by just scraping the dishes before they go in.
44. Keep your fridge full: Keeping it full means it doesn’t have to work as hard and therefore uses less energy.
45. Pack your freezer tightly: A freezer is much more economical when it’s packed tight. Use ice cube trays to fill empty spaces.
46. Get rid of ice build up: Never have more than a 6mm build up of ice in your freezer as this reduces its efficiency.
47. Keep the fridge door closed: Every time the fridge door is open, up to 30% of the cold air can escape.
48. Don’t put hot food in the fridge: Allow cooked food to cool before putting it in the fridge or freezer, otherwise it will have to work harder and use more energy to cool the food.
49. Upgrade your fridge freezer: Most new fridges or freezers come with an energy efficiency rating label. Choose an A or B energy rating to get the most out of your electricity.
50. Use the smallest ring on the hob: Use the smallest pan and the smallest ring possible when heating food on the hob. Using a bigger than necessary pan wastes a lot of energy.
51. Switch to a convection oven: Swapping your conventional oven to a convection oven can cut down your energy use by about 20%. Convection ovens use fans to force hot air to circulate more evenly, therefore allowing food to be cooked at a lower temperature.
52. Don’t fill your kettle: It’s not necessary to fill the kettle right up every time. Just boil the amount of water you need and it will boil faster, reducing energy consumption.
53. Use smaller kitchen appliances: Smaller appliances will use less energy than larger versions.
54. Use lids on pots and pans: When possible, use a lid on your pan to minimise heat loss and reduce cooking time.
55. Use the kettle to boil water for cooking: This is a more energy efficient way to heat water and generally takes less time than boiling water on the hob.
56. Descale your kettle: A build up of scale in the kettle means it takes more energy to boil the same amount of water.
57. Only run the dishwasher with full loads: Running a half empty dishwasher is not economical. Save your dishes and wait until the washer is full until you turn it on.
58. Reheat with the microwave: Where possible, use the microwave to reheat food that has already been cooked. It will use less energy than the oven.
59. Use a steamer to cook vegetables: This allows you to cook multiple things on one hob ring, reducing the amount of energy used.
60. Cut up your food: If possible, when cooking vegetables cut them into smaller pieces so that they cook faster, therefore using less energy.
61. Use a toaster: A small electric toaster is much more energy efficient and quicker than using your oven’s grill to toast bread.
62. Use ventilation fans sparingly: A ventilator will suck a large amount of heat away from a room if it is left on too long. Turn it straight off when it has done its job.
63. Position fridges and freezers away from heat: If your fridge or freezer is placed next to a heat source such as an oven or a radiator, it will have to work harder and use more energy.
Energy Saving Tips: In the bathroom
64. Take showers instead of baths: A 5 minute shower uses around a third less hot water than running a bath and also reduces the amount of energy needed to heat the water.
65. Turn the pressure down on the power shower: A high-pressure shower can sometimes use more hot water than a bath, so try turning down the pressure.
66. Use a shower timer: Reduce your shower time to reduce your water and energy bills. A shower timer will tell you how long you spend in the shower and help you to cut that time down.
67. Change your shower head: Fit a water-efficient shower head to reduce your hot water usage whilst still enjoying a powerful shower. Some companies even give away these shower heads for free.
68. Turn off the tap: When washing your face or hands, turn off the tap. A running hot water tap wastes over 6 litres of water per minute and also wastes energy heating the water, so leaving it to run the whole time is like pouring money down the drain.
69. Fix leaky taps: A dripping hot water tap will not only increase your water bill, it will also increase the amount of energy used to heat the water. Fix your leaky taps to reduce wasted energy.
Energy Saving Tips: In the garden
70. Plant trees and shrubs around your home: To keep your home cool in the summer, plant trees around your home to reduce its sun exposure. They can also improve your home’s insulation in the winter. This is an energy saving tip that is often overlooked.
71. Use a manual lawn mower: Save on your electricity use at home by mowing your lawn the old fashioned way.
72. Switch to outdoor LED lights: Your home is not the only place that can benefit from LED lighting. Many garden and patio lights now come with LED bulbs so you can illuminate your garden without worrying about the cost.
73. Solar powered outdoor lights: Solar powered lights use the suns energy to produce light so they require no electricity. Solar lights are ideal for small, decorative garden lighting.
74. Keep the garage door closed: An open garage door creates a huge hole that lets in drafts and lets out warm air.
75. Get out the barbecue: In the summer, why not cook your food on a barbecue to reduce the amount of energy your oven uses.
Energy Saving Tips: Laundry
76. Wash only full loads of clothes: Washing small loads of clothes wastes water and electricity. Try to wait until you have a full load or hand wash individual items.
77. Wash at 30°C: 90% of your washing machines energy goes on heating the water. Washing at 30°C will save you significant amounts of money.
78. Use a fast wash setting: Most washing machine have a fast wash setting. Using this when possible will cut your energy costs.
79. Clean the lint filter on the dryer: A clean filter will allow your dryer to run more efficiently.
80. Remove clothes from the dryer whilst they-re still damp: This will cut down on drying time and energy use as well as making clothes easier to iron.
81. Dry one load of clothes straight after another: Drying more clothes whilst the machine is still warm will minimise heat loss from the dryer and allow the clothes to dry faster.
82. Hang up your laundry: When you can, cut down on your tumble dryer use by air-drying your laundry on an airer or outside. Don’t put it on the radiator as this can reduce the room temperature.
83. Use eco-balls in the dryer: They create more space between items, allowing them to dry faster.
84. Put a dry towel in with wet clothes: The dry towel will absorb dampness from the clothes and reduce drying time to save electricity in your home.
85. Use fabric conditioner: Wash your clothes with fabric conditioner to reduce creases in clothes and cut down on ironing time.
Energy Saving Tips: Electronics & appliances
86. Unplug appliances that aren’t used regularly: Many appliances still use energy even when they’re not in use. Unplug all the appliances that you aren’t using regularly.
87. Don’t leave appliances on standby: Leaving appliances on standby is a sure-fire way to waste energy. It is estimated that products on standby account for 8% of an average electricity bill. Switch them off at the plug instead.
88. Use a power strip: Plug your electronics into a power strip. This makes it easier to turn them all off when not in use and save on your electricity bills.
89. Unplug everything before you go away: When you go on holiday, unplug and switch off everything you can to avoid wasting electricity when you’re not around.
90. Invest in energy efficient appliances: When shopping for new appliances, look for the Environmental Protection Agency’s Energy Star label. Energy Star appliances use between 10 and 50% less energy and water than others.
91. Switch from a desktop to a laptop: Swapping your desktop computer for a laptop can cut your energy consumption by 80%. A powerful laptop uses about 30 watts of energy compared to a desktop which uses around 120 watts.
92. Don’t charge your phone over night: Many people leave their phones to charge overnight but most phones only take a couple of hours to fully charge. The rest of the time, energy is being wasted.
93. Upgrade your TV: Modern televisions use less than half the electricity that older models use. Switch to save money.
94. Switch to an ink jet printer: Laser printers use a huge amount of electricity compared to ink jet printers, so switch to save energy.
Energy Saving Tips: General
95. Apply for an energy-saving grant: There are many energy-saving grants available to help with the cost of home improvements to increase energy efficiency.
96. Get an energy check: Take an online home energy check for a free personalised report on how you can reduce your energy bills. There are many online energy saving websites that will provide these.
97. Use comparison websites: Comparison websites will help you to find the cheapest deal on your energy supplier.
98. Use an energy monitor: An energy monitor is a smart way to keep track of how much energy you’re using. Once you see how much each device in your home uses, you can adjust your usage accordingly.
99. Invest in solar panels: Installing solar panels on the roof of your home is an investment that could save you as much as a third on your electricity bills.
100. (The last of our energy saving tips!) Heat your home from the ground: Ground source heat pumps use buried pipes to extract heat from the ground. These can be used in homes to heat radiators and provide hot water.
These energy saving tips come from Litecraft, suppliers of all things lighting, including energy saving LED bulbs & fittings.