User Energy Efficiency

Some simple ways to save energy around your home:

Close your windows, doors and curtains at night to prevent heat escaping from you living area.

Turn your thermostat down. Reducing your room temperature by 1°C could cut your heating bills by up to 10%.

Setting your heating to turn off one hour before you leave the house and have it come on just half an hour before your return will mean that the heat is not wasted on an empty property.

The thermostat on your water cylinder should be set at 60°C/140°F.

Switch off any lights that aren’t needed.

Switch appliances off at the wall when they aren’t in use.

Don’t leave appliances on to charge longer than needed. This not only saves energy but will also increase the life of the battery.

Only boil as much water as you need (ensure the min amount is in for an electric kettle).

When cooking use a kettle to boil water instead of heating a pan on the stove.

Preferably hang clothing to dry but if you do use a tumble dryer ensure clothes have been wrung out or spun first.

Whenever possible, fill up the washing machine, tumble dryer or dishwasher. One full load uses less energy than two half loads. Also there is no need to wash loads above 40°C these days as modern detergents are effective at lower temperatures.

Fix leaking taps and make sure they’re turned off properly.

Defrost your fridge and freezer regularly to keep them running efficiently. If they have a tendency to frost up check the door seal. If your fridge is next to a cooker or boiler, leave a good gap between them.

Turn your microwave off at the wall when not in use. Powering the clock can use more power than heating your food!

Appliance Energy Efficiency

Boilers

All new gas boilers installed in England and Wales must be of the high-efficiency condensing type. If your boiler is over 15 years and you upgrade to a new one it is possible to save up to a quarter on your annual heating costs.

Energy Products

When replacing household appliances always check for the ‘A’ rated energy-efficient models that carry the ‘energy saving recommended’ logo. Most household appliances have energy-efficient models available although an energy rating is not currently mandatory for all.

Legislation is currently in place for:
Washing Machines (excluding twin-tub models)
Tumble Dryers
Combined Washer-dryers
Lamps
Dishwashers
Ovens
Refrigerators and Freezers
Air Conditioners

Energy efficient models are also available for:
TV’s (legislation to be passed end of 2011)
Kettles
Irons
and other electrical appliances

Energy Saving Light Bulbs use five times less electricity and last ten times longer than normal bulbs and are easy to install for minimal costs. They do however contain mercury and need to be recycled when they come to the end of their life to prevent a build up of mercury in landfill sites.

Rechargeable batteries save energy, reduce waste and cost little to recharge.

Energy Loss Prevention

The main contributor to your annual utility bill will most likely be your heating system. Insulating your home will help reduce the energy required to heat your property and can therefore help reduce your bill significantly.

This can be achieved in a number of ways:

Draught Proofing

The cheapest method of reducing heat loss is to use draught excluders on doors and windows and to fit covers on your letter box and key holes.

Double Glazed Windows

By placing two or three panes of glass together with small air pockets separating each pane, the amount of heat energy loss through your windows is reduced.

Loft Insulation

You can reduce the amount of heat lost through your roof by having an insulating material such as glass fibre installed in the loft.

Cavity Wall Insulation

Many new properties have the walls insulated during construction. For older buildings and those that do not have this done a porous material such as cellulose insulin can be inserted into the wall space to reduce heat loss.

Hot Water Tank and Pipe Insulation

Hot water tanks and pipes can be insulated to stop heat escaping from them. The most effective pipes to insulate are the ones between the boiler and hot water cylinder.

Radiator Reflectors

Fitting aluminium foil or reflective panels behind radiators will reflect heat back into the room rather than allowing walls to absorb and lose the heat.