Save money and the planet
There are plenty of ways to make your home more energy efficient - saving you money and helping the planet at the same time.
Switch bulbs and switch off
Changing to energy efficient light bulbs could save you up to 10% of your electricity bill.
Turning off lights in rooms you’re not using and switching off appliances at the wall (rather than leaving them on standby) could save you around £44 a year! Smart plugs could be useful for this. Pull out chargers that aren't in use.
Turning your thermostat down by just one degree will save around £80 on the energy bill of a typical, gas-heated three-bedroom semi. Health professionals recommend 18°C as the minimum temperature for people over 65 and those with a medical condition.
Wear extra layers when it’s cold indoors and set your heating schedule to turn off when you are not in.
Draught-proofing around windows and doors could save you around £20 per year by stopping heat from leaking from your home. Follow the Energy Saving Trust's helpful guide. Don't forget to draught seal loft hatches, letter boxes and chimneys.
You can also close curtains and blinds to keep the heat in when it gets dark.
Kitchen and bathroom
Only boil the water in a kettle that you are going to use, use the right sized hob for cooking and fill washing machines and dishwashers before turning them on.
Try spending a few minutes less in the shower everyday and install a water-efficient shower head.
There are plenty of other quick tips to save you money and help the planet from the Energy Saving Trust.
Invest to save
A quarter of heat is lost through the roof in an uninsulated home. Loft insulation is cheap and simple to install. Fit it to a depth of 270 mm and it will pay for itself within a year through lower energy bills. Make sure you also insulate heating/hotwater pipes and your water tank (if you have one).
Double and triple glazed windows to keep heat in and unwanted external noise out. They could save you up to £120 a year on your energy bills.
Thermostatic radiator valves and smart controls can make sure you’re not paying to heat rooms you're not using, or the house when you’re not in it.
Upgrade your heating system
With more renewables coming online and advances in heat pump technology, it is worth considering moving towards electric heating - particularly if you combine this with a 100% renewable tariff! Both air source and ground source heat pumps are available, which are greener alternatives to a fossil fuel boiler.
If you are unable to install a heat pump at home, it is still worth considering upgrading your gas central heating. While changing your boiler might be expensive, modern boilers are far more efficient (and less likely to breakdown) than older ones, saving you money in the long run.
Did you know around a third of the National Grid’s electricity supply now comes from renewable energy sources like wind and solar? That’s more than from nuclear, oil and coal combined and second only to gas (38%)!
There are a number of energy providers who supply 100% renewable energy, such as Good Energy and Ecotricity. Switching is easy and each household that signals demand for more renewable energy from energy companies, driving the green economy forward.