Saving Energy at Home

There are many different ways to reduce your household’s energy use, ranging from simple behavioural adjustments to extensive home improvements.

The two major motives for saving energy are to save money on bills and protect the environment.

Here's a list of ways you can acheive this:

Reducing room temperatures by just 1ºC can cut heating bills by up to £75 a year in a typical home, according to the Energy Saving Trust. So put on a jumper before you turn up the heating. If you don’t already have a room thermostat, programmer and thermostatic radiator valves, installing them – and using them well – could save you another £60 a year. It will also cut your home’s carbon emissions by 330kg a year.

Heating Controls should let you:

  • Set your heating and hot water to turn on and off to suit you.
  • Heat only the parts of your home that need it set different temperatures for different areas of your home.
  • Keep your home at a temperature that's comfortable, without wasting heat.

If you only need to heat one room in your house, it may be cheaper to use a portable electric heater and keep the thermostat turned down. For those who live alone or work from home, investing in an electric heater could save on heating bills over time as you're not heating the whole house unnecessarily.

Also called smart thermostats, these let you operate your heating remotely via the internet using your mobile phone, tablet or computer. Some also have sophisticated features, such as learning your routine or adjusting settings depending on the weather forecast. Whether a smart thermostat could save you money will depend on your lifestyle, how efficiently you control your heating already, and whether you’d prefer it to using traditional heating controls.

Save £180 Energy-saving light bulbs can help you to cut your energy bills easily. An LED light bulb costs around £1.71 a year to run . Over its lifetime, it could cut around £180 from your energy bills, compared with an old-style bulb. Remember, energy-saving light bulbs last longer than traditional ones.LEDs are the most energy-efficient light bulbs, and use almost 90% less energy than traditional incanadescents. LED bulbs can cost less than £5 for one, and some can pay for themselves through energy savings in a few months.

Save £19 Stopping heat from escaping through unwanted gaps could help you save up to £20 a year, although you could save far more with professional draught-proofing.

Take a look at the following areas:

  • Windows: Use draught-proofing strips around the frame. Brush strips work better for sash windows.
  • Doors: Use draught-proofing strips for gaps around the edges, and brush or hinged-flap draught excluders on the bottom of doors.
  • Chimney and fireplace: If you don't use your fireplace, use an inflatable pillow to block the chimney, or fit a cap over the chimney pot. If you have an open chimney, this alone could save you £15 a year.
  • Floorboards and skirting: Floorboards need to move, so use a flexible silicone-based filler to fill the gaps. Loft hatches You can prevent hot air escaping by using draught-proofing foam strips.

Save up to £124 If you're replacing an appliance, you can cut your electricity bills by choosing the most energy-efficient model. For example, running costs for washing machines, depending on size, vary between £15 and £60 a year. The most visual indication of a product’s energy efficiency is its EU energy-efficiency rating.

More than half of what you spend on energy in a year goes on heating. So replacing an old, inefficient boiler with a modern energy-efficient one makes a big difference to your bill.

If you upgrade an old G-rated gas boiler with a new A-rated condensing model, including a programmer room, you could trim your fuel bills by as much as £315 a year. That’s based on the latest estimates from the Energy Saving Trust for a detached home. If you don’t currently have heating controls, installing them at the same time will help you to save even more money.

A condensing boiler is a good choice if you’re looking for efficiency. They capture waste heat released from the flue, and use it to heat water returning from your central heating system.

Insulating both your loft and cavity walls can save you up to £315 a year.

Laying loft insulation to a thickness of 270mm in a typical non-insulated three-bedroom semi could trim £150 a year from energy bills, as less heat will be lost through the roof. Insulating cavity walls can save up to £165 a year in a semi-detached house. Solid-wall insulation, although more expensive to fit, could save you £225 in the same type of house.

To start saving energy, money (and the planet!), browse through our list of top rated suppliers and services below.