Energy saving tips

Looking for ways to reduce your energy consumption to save on your bills and lessen your carbon footprint? We’ve got you covered.

This year’s increase in energy bills has meant many customers are looking for ways to stay warm over winter, without the hefty price tag. And whilst the Government’s intervention (such as the Energy Bills Support Scheme and the Energy Price Guarantee) provides some financial support for homeowners, actual bills are not capped. The more energy you use the greater your bill.

The good news is that the inverse is also true: the less energy you use, the smaller your energy bills will be. Saving energy at home doesn’t have to be a huge effort. According to the Energy Saving Trust, simple changes like switching your appliances off standby could save you £65 a year.

So below, we’ve collated easy energy-saving tips for everyone - no matter your budget. Some you will have heard before (consider this a reminder), but you might find some of the energy-saving tips novel and insightful. We’ve also included larger home improvements you may wish to invest in for longer-term energy-saving.

Table of Contents:

  1. Easy and creative ways to save energy at home

  2. A reminder of energy saving tips you'll have heard before

  3. Home improvements to help you reduce your energy bills

1. Easy and creative ways to save energy at home

Get a smart meter installed

One of the benefits of having smart meters and an in-home display (IHD) is that you can monitor your usage in real time. This means you can directly see what's costing you money, and notice instant results when you change how you use your appliances. In fact, according to the Energy Saving Trust, you could find that your energy usage drops by between 5% and 15% in the first year of using an IHD.

If you don’t already have one, we recommend having a smart meter installed. Installation is free of charge and you can register your interest by filling in this short smart meter request form. One of our advisors will be in touch to arrange the next steps; you don’t need to do anything else.

Get creative in the kitchen

Avoid pre-heating your oven. Instead, put your food in the oven when you turn it on and add a few minutes to the cooking time. You could also turn it off a few minutes before the end of the cooking time and let the residual heat finish it off. Another handy tip is to use residual oven heat to heat the kitchen. When the food has finished cooking, leave your oven door open to ensure the heat doesn’t go to waste - but keep children away!

Check if your fridge is in a good position. If it’s located near a window or the oven, it’s probably absorbing a lot of heat and will use more energy to keep the food cold. It’s also good practice to wipe down the coils at the back of the fridge every so often to prevent dust from building up. This helps your fridge to work as efficiently as possible.

Check your fridge is in a good position

Reconsider your laundry habits

Heated clothes airers are a great way to dry your laundry in an energy-efficient and space-saving way. They are relatively cheap to run (at around 15p/hour) and there are many affordable brands available to buy from home department stores. Don’t dry your clothes on the radiators as clothes act as a barrier, limiting how far heat can move around the room.

2. A reminder of energy-saving tips you’ll have heard before

Use draft excluders

Draught excluders against your doors and older windows keep cold air out and warm air in. This avoids money being wasted on heating rooms that could have otherwise been better insulated. Other places around the home to check for draughts include the letterbox, floorboards, chimneys and extractor fans. Feel like getting creative? Make your own sausage dog draught excluder

Look after your radiators and your boiler

Trapped air in your radiators leaves pockets of cold air and makes them less efficient, so they’ll take longer to heat up. Bleed your radiators a few times a year and get your boiler serviced every year to ensure it’s running at maximum efficiency.

You can also help the heat from your radiators move around the room by making sure radiators are not blocked by furniture.

Place blankets around the house

Place blankets by the sofa and at the end of the bed so they’re at hand before you consider adjusting the thermostat.

Be kitchen-savvy

Watch your kettle use. Refilling and boiling the kettle throughout the day will add to your energy consumption and increase your bills. Only boil as much as you need and use a pot or cafetière for longer breaks between using the kettle. Fitting a tap aerator and not overfilling your kettle can save you up to £43 a year, according to the Energy Saving Trust. It’s also a good idea to keep your kettle free of limescale so it operates at maximum efficiency.

Only boil as much water as you need to save energy

When cooking, resist the urge to open the oven door to check on the food where possible. Each time the door is opened means a drop in the oven temperature, requiring more energy to bring the oven back to temperature once the door is closed.

Try a slow cooker. Food may take longer to cook than conventional cooking methods but slow cookers use a fraction of the energy. If you don’t fancy investing in a slow cooker, cook with the lid on.

Where it's safe to do so, reheat food in the microwave rather than the oven or on the hob.

Avoid putting warm food in the fridge as it increases the internal temperature, meaning your fridge will consume more energy to keep food cold. Your fridge should be between 3 and 5°C and your freezer should be set at -18°C to ensure these white goods aren’t using more electricity than necessary. Cleaning the fridge and defrosting the freezer every so often also helps these white goods run more efficiently.

Be bright about light

Open your curtains during the day and close them just before sunset to retain any heat in the room.

Dust lampshades and bulbs so dirt isn’t hindering how much light is emitted and get into the habit of turning the lights off when you leave a room.

Turning off lights could help save energy

Replace your bulbs with energy-saving versions and you’ll find that you spend a lot less over the lifetime of the bulb when compared to less-efficient equivalents. LED lightbulbs can cost more upfront than traditional (incandescent) bulbs but with up to 50,000 hours of use, they’ll last longer than incandescent bulbs (which typically last 1,000 hours).

Turn down the heat

Turn the thermostat down to save up to £50 per degree per year. By reducing the temperature of your combi boiler to 60°C, you could save £112 a year, according to Nesta.

Switch off electrical items

Turn everything that’s in standby mode completely off, and you’ll potentially save around £65 a year. You can buy power strips that allow you to do this at the push of a button.

Keep it cool and clean

Use the eco settings if you have a modern dishwasher and washing machine. Only run a full load of washing and wash your clothes at 30°C to save approximately £34 a week on your electricity bills.

Cooler washes can help save energy

Swap your bath for a shower and limit your time in the shower to four minutes (that’s one song!) and you’ll save £65 a year. Installing a water-efficient shower head keeps the water pressure high and the energy consumption low.

Know how much electricity your appliances use:

usage table

(1) - kWh (Kilowatt hours) are the units used to measure how much power is used by an appliance. It works out as the watt power of an appliance divided by 1,000 (when used for one hour). (2) - Prices are based on the 1 October 2022 price guarantee rate of 34p/kWh.

Credit: Money Saving Expert

3. Home improvements to save help you reduce your energy bills

Looking to invest in larger home improvements to continue to save on energy bills in the future? Below, we’ve listed 4 ways to upgrade your home. While some of these require a substantial initial investment, once the installation cost has been paid off, you should notice a reduction in your bills in years to come.

Insulate your home

Did you know that an uninsulated home loses a quarter of its heat through the roof? Ensuring your house has at least 10 to 11 inches (270 mm) of insulation could reduce your bills by £355 a year if you live in a semi-detached house (Energy Saving Trust).

You might also want to insulate your boiler tank, pipes, radiators, and any cavity walls in your home. Seal gaps between floors and skirting boards with any sealant bought from a DIY shop and consider adding thermal wallpaper behind decorative wallpaper. To save an extra £70 a year, spray thicker insulation on the hot water cylinder.

Replace worn-out windows

Between 18 and 40% of energy in your home could be wasted through single-glazed or worn-out double-glazed windows. While having energy-efficient windows installed might be expensive (costing between £150 and £600 a window), they could save you around £200 a year after you’ve paid off this investment.

Upgrade your appliances

Update your heating systems for more energy-efficient models and when your appliances wear out, buy energy-efficient replacements.

Consider installing solar panels

Generate your own electricity by installing solar panels. A solar panel system will cost around £6,500 (Money Saving Expert) and you could save up to £514 on your energy bills each year once you’ve broken even (Energy Saving Trust). Request a quote from us for solar panel installation.

Generate your own electricity with solar panels

By making the above changes to your energy consumption, you’ll see real-time results in your IHD and energy bills. You might be surprised how addictive saving energy can be. For more tips on how to save energy in the home, you may also want to check these great guides from the Energy Saving Trust and Which?