With the possibility of energy prices rising in the future, now couldn't be a better time to take stock of your household energy usage for the health of both the planet and your wallet. And if going off-grid and starting a new life in the woods sounds neither appealing nor practical, check out our tips for cutting your carbon footprint without even leaving the house.
A bit of a no-brainer here, but turn appliances off when not using them. This includes every Dad’s favourite nag of turning off the lights, but also check that appliances like TVs, computers and microwaves are not on standby mode and where possible unplug electrical devices that aren’t in use. When buying light bulbs make sure they are energy-efficient, for example replacing 10 halogen lights for LEDs will save you around 5.94kWk/week. And if installing new lighting, avoid choosing downlights as they use up far more energy than regular lights and also penetrate insulation, making it less efficient.
Hot and cold
Key to becoming more energy efficient is optimising your house’s ability to keep cool when it’s hot and retain heat when it’s cold outside. If you own your own home, deciding to fully insulate your property will keep your house warm in winter and cool in summer. On a smaller scale, investing in good quality curtains will do the same thing. Making sure that you retain heat in the winter is particularly important and so if you can, make sure your doors and windows are well-sealed when you install them, or for a cheaper and more immediate option draught excluders can be brought fairly cheaply. Fans are an affordable way to stay cool during the warmer summer days and in the colder months who doesn't love an old fashioned wood burning fire to keep warm. Check out these handy tips to make sure you're getting the maximum heat out of your fireplace.
Assessing your water usage can help you cut down on both the amount you use and energy you are using to heat it. Checking the water efficiency of any new devices that you buy – like washing machines and kettles – is a good place to start. When boiling the kettle, try not to automatically fill it to the top, but rather heat just the amount you need, cutting your kettle energy usage by up to 30%. Another key change to make is buying a water-efficient showerhead to reduce both the amount of water you are using and the energy used to heat it.
We hope you find these tips useful, and remember that with some trial and error to find out what works for your home, even seemingly small changes can over time drastically reduce your energy usage. Happy saving!