According to Ofgem, the average UK household spends about £1,254 annually on power and heating. This makes energy the highest annual cost for families. With a large percentage of your budgeting going to energy bills, it’s understandable why you’d seek out tips to help you save on energy.
Below is a quick guide on how to achieve this.
How much energy does an average household use?
The average UK home has four occupants and has 13 electronic appliances, including laptops and TVs. According to the ECUK report, this is a big jump from 1990 where households only had four.
But even with the increase in appliances, today’s energy is roughly the same as it was twenty years ago. This is owing to the energy-efficient technology used in these appliances. However, there is still a lot to be done to save even more energy and hence money.
Insulate your home
A well-insulated house reduces heat loss meaning the heating system doesn’t have to work extra to compensate for the loss. Up to a quarter of the heat in a home escapes through the roof since hot air is lighter than cold air.
If you have properties with vaulted ceilings and attic spaces, you’ll need to pay extra attention to the roof and still maintain ample ventilation. Moreover, houses with cavity walls are susceptible to heat loss. Luckily, you can insulate solid walls to trap the heat inside the house.
According to Energy Saving Trust, installing cavity wall insulation can help you save about £245 annually. On the other hand, loft insulation can save you up to £215 annually.
Note: these figures depend on the type of house you live in.
While home insulation requires a steep financial input initially, it’ll pay for itself a couple of times over with time.
Turn off appliances when not in use
Any electronic device will suck up electricity when it’s plugged in – even if it’s switched off. This includes chargers and cables. It’s estimated that 5-10% of home energy bills stem from this phenomenon.
When you are done using a device, turn it off and unplug it from the socket. Leaving your appliances on standby mode uses up unnecessary energy. According to the Energy Saving Trust, you’d save about £30 annually if you turned off and unplugged appliances instead of leaving them on standby.
Although most TVs can be switched off completely without losing their programming, it’s important you confirm with the instruction manual. If you are recording your favourite show for later, you might need to leave it plugged in.
Be alert in the kitchen
There are lots of tips on how to save energy in your kitchen. However, they all stem from one basic tip – be aware of your energy use. From the kettle to the hob, only use the heat and water you need. You can save about £36 annually on energy bills if you are more energy efficient in the kitchen.
Here’s a quick rundown of how energy efficiency in your kitchen looks like:
- Fill the kettle with just the right amount of water you need at the time
- Use a basin or bowl when cleaning rather than letting the tap water run
- Use your washing machine once a week
- Use a microwave to reheat food instead of the oven
- Defrost food to reduce cooking time by half
- Prepare your food on low heat
The easiest way to save energy in a home is to replace old incandescent bulbs with compact fluorescent bulbs or light-emitting diode. Energy-saving bulbs consume a fraction of the energy used by old incandescent bulbs. They also last longer.
Initially, you might spend a lot of money to switch to energy-saving bulbs, but like insulating your house, you’ll recoup the cost in the long run. According to the Energy Saving Trust, replacing all old incandescent bulbs with energy-efficient bulbs will cost about £100 initially. However, you’ll save about £35 annually on energy bills.
Install smart heating controls
Smart energy-saving devices and heating systems will help you determine your home energy uses. For instance, a smart thermostat gives you control overheating through apps on your PC or smartphone. You can manage the house temperature remotely throughout the day. This way, you ensure energy isn’t wasted.
There’s no need to leave the heating on when you leave for work and no one’s at home. Instead, you can switch the thermostat off and switch it back on a couple of hours before you arrive home. Some thermostats are programmed to learn your habits and adjust heating accordingly.
With a smart meter, accurate and real-time readings of your energy usage are transmitted to your energy supplier. Many have in-home displays that allow you to monitor the energy use in your home. You can use this knowledge to reduce energy wastage. You can reduce electricity and gas use by 2.8% and 2% respectively.
Maintain the HVAC system
HVAC systems work hard to keep your home readings comfortable. 50% of the average UK energy uses is by the HVAC system. To preserve HVAC efficiency, you can replace air filters often. Clogged up or dirty filters make the system work harder and consequently use up more energy.
Bleeding the radiators in different rooms regularly and keeping up with the annual boiler service also helps to ensure the system is in good shape. When the boiler approaches the end of its lifespan, consider replacing it with a newer, more efficient HVAC system.
Solution Loans offer private loans UK to help with the HVAC switch. The replacement will also pay for itself over time.
Saving energy at home requires dedication and some initial investment. Keep a close eye on household habits to reduce the costs and compare energy efficiency on electronic devices before you switch.