We’ve all heard the common ways that you can save energy at home; making sure your devices are switched off rather than on standby and investing in energy efficient appliances. However, there are some energy-saving tips that you might not have considered. Northern Powergrid, who can help with any electric connection around your home, have assembled this list of smart tips for saving energy that may surprise you…
Keep your fridge/ freezer well stocked
To ensure that your fridge and freezer aren’t using too much energy, it’s recommended that you keep them as full as possible, this means that they won’t be overworked. Additionally, if you have any empty shelves, it may be wise to downsize. If you decide to switch models, try to make sure that you choose an A++ model – these have been shown to save around £190 in total energy bills throughout their product lifetime.
Whether you decide to stick with your current model or invest in a new one, make sure that you defrost on a regular basis as this prevents ice buildup – causing increased energy expenditure. You should also clean any dust from around the condenser coils at the back of your fridge, as the dust buildup can lead to using yet more energy.
Be a smart cook
Cooking can use up a lot of energy and you could be using more than you need. When cooking vegetables or rice, remember to only use enough water to keep them covered on the hob and make sure that you use the correct size of pan– cooking a small meal in a large pan wastes energy as you have to wait longer to heat up the contents.
When baking in the oven, you can save on time by baking more than one meal at a time. Each shelf in your oven will be being heated, so you should make the most of the free space and save some meals for later to heat up in the microwave.
It’s sometimes even a good idea to swap your oven for a pressure cooker instead. Cooking chicken using a pressure cooker actually takes about half the time as it would to make the same meal in the oven.
Get smart when showering
You can save energy in the bathroom too, especially if you have a shower. You could start by investing in a more water-efficient shower head if your shower uses hot water from a tank or boiler, as opposed to it being electric. Doing this will mean that you can still enjoy a powerful shower but will reduce the amount of hot water that you are using. It has been calculated that you can shave up to £75 a year off your bill by using this handy tip!
No matter what type of shower you own, it is also recommended that you get a shower timer fitted. By reducing the time that you spend in the shower by just one minute per day, you could see a saving of £7 a year per person in your household.
Use your phone more efficiently at home
Did you know that you can buy plug sockets for around £20 which have been designed so that they can be switched on and off via your mobile?
These will definitely be handy if you suddenly remember you forgot to switch off your TV at the wall and have already left the house. By turning your gadgets and devices off at the plug instead of leaving them on standby, you can save an average of £30 a year for your household!
Get a smart thermostat
You could save up to £80 a year on energy bills simply by turning the heating down by one degree. Investing in a smart thermostat takes a lot of the hassle out of monitoring your household devices. Although these can sometimes come with a large price tag (with some devices costing a few hundred pounds), they could take up to a third off your heating bills long-term. This is because the devices learn how much time it takes to heat up your home and adjust your heating so that it comes on at the exact right time to heat up your home to your required temperature.
Smart thermostats are also designed so that you can control them via your mobile phone even when you aren’t at home – so you needn’t worry about coming in to a cold house.
Use a lower temperature when doing the washing
Your washing machine can also help you save energy. Around 90 percent of your washing machines energy use comes down to heating up the water, so you can help by washing your clothes at a lower temperature. Turning the temperature down from 30 ºC to 40 ºC can save you a third of the cost of running the cycle. Just remember to use a hot wash every now and again to keep your washing machine clean.
Reducing the amount of times you use your washing machine by just one cycle per week can save you £5 a year on your energy bills – which is something to think about the next time you fill up your washing machine to just half way!
You should also try not to try your clothes and garments on the radiator, as doing so means that your boiler will have to work harder than necessary.