Help save cash and the environment with our top energy saving tips for your home.
Whilst we are mindful that the national Energy Price Guarantee will reduce the unit cost of electricity and gas a typical household pays, it does not affect the amount used.
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- A rug can be used to add another layer of insulation, trapping cool air underneath it.
- Fresh air is nice, but you only need to open the window a crack to get enough.
- If you have a power shower running off your boiler, consider fitting a water efficient shower head to reduce the amount of hot water you use.
- Brushing your teeth - a quick drop to wet your toothbrush is all it needs - turn the water off until you are done brushing!
- Heated towel rails - these date back to the days of very cheap energy, but today they can be a big waste. Turn them off and make sure you hang your towels well, so they dry out.
- Look to see if your TV has an 'Eco' mode to save power.
- Make sure your TV is an LED one of some sort - old plasma TVs really chew through energy.
- Turn off your oven a few minutes before it needs to finish – it will stay hot for the last 5 or 10 minutes.
- Only boil the water you need, by having a cup around to fill your kettle.
- Don't put fridges and freezes in sheds and garages which get hot, because it will make them run continuously and cost a fortune in warm weather.
- Washing machines work well at 30 and 40 degrees, and cost a lot less to run that way.
- Avoid using tumble driers if possible. Clothes last longer and are easier to avoid creasing if you hang them up on a drying rack or line
- Most washing machines have a quick cycle - that will more than halve the power they use, and with modern detergents the results will usually be identical.
- Make sure your vehicle is serviced, so that it’s running efficiently.
- Accelerating hard and braking hard waste energy, even in electric cars.
- Don't sit with your engine idling - it’s using fuel for no purpose.
- Heat is easily lost through draughts. You can fit draught excluders and draught excluder tape on external doors and older windows, especially doors to garages and conservatories.
- Letter boxes are another simple thing to fix, e.g. by fitting internal draught excluders over your existing letter box.
- New windows are expensive, but older windows can easily be improved using secondary glazing, ranging from cheap shrink film solutions, to Perspex sheets. On single glazed windows, insulating film can halve their heat loss.
- Make sure you insulate your loft – the roof accounts for about a quarter of the heat lost from your home.
- Cavity wall insulation is suitable for brick built housing and can cut your heating energy by 20%, as well as making your house much nicer to live in and reducing condensation.
- Halogen bulbs use a lot of power. You can get LED bulbs that will work with most dimmer switches these days and will be as bright, as cheap, last longer and use a fifth the power.
- Turn lights off. Easier said than done with a houseful of kids - but it’s a habit that will benefit everyone in the long run!
- Use the right strength bulbs, such as lower output bulbs in hallways and so on.
Keep warm this winter
Warmer Derby and Derbyshire is a free and impartial energy advice line for Derby and Derbyshire residents.