Energy Saving Tips & Green Advice…
There are many significant ways in which you can save energy at home. There are things to DO and things to BUY. Three of the slogans which underpin this section are:
- Do things before you buy things
- Reduce before you produce, and
- Insulate before you generate
Many of these ideas are best done before or at the same time as you consider domestic solar panels. Here are several energy saving ideas – a fun mix of our own customers’ ideas and some which are suggested on UK government sponsored websites.
Energy saving things to DO:
- Turn down your central heating thermostat by just 1 ° could cut your heating bills by 10% and save you around £55 per year. This is about the same annual saving that the Energy Saving Trust says you get from a solar thermal system!
- Make sure your hot water store thermostat is set to 60 °C. Not higher – this is wasteful. Not lower – this could bring a bacterial (Legionella) risk.
- Turn off appliances instead of leaving them on stand-by when they are not in use. How many can you think of?
- Instead of boiling a full kettle, only boil as much water as you need. Heating water uses a lot of energy.
- Shower instead of taking a bath. This could cut the water used by half. Consider fitting a low flow shower head and a shower timer.
- Cook with the right size of saucepan and use a lid where possible. Heat up pre-cooked food very efficiently using microwaves.
- Position fridges and freezers away from hot cookers and radiators. Defrost them regularly. Check their door seals are OK. They will then use less power.
- Put the plug in when your wash you hands.
- Wash clothes at 30 ° to save energy and money.
- If possible, when using a washing machine/tumble dryer or dishwasher, fill it up as much as you can. One full load uses less energy than two half loads.
- Dry clothes on line instead of tumble drying them.
- If you do need to tumble dry clothes, spin them on a high spin speed in the washing machine first, to cut the drying time down.
- Close your curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping. Upgrade them when replacement time comes to thick, thermally insulated curtains.
- Fix leaking taps. A slowly dripping hot tap leaks enough to half fill a bath over a week.
- Discuss theses ideas with other members of your household in a way which makes them feel good.
- Call your local council every year and ask about existing and forthcoming grants for energy efficiency.
- Call the Energy Saving Trust for further energy efficiency advice and a free home energy audit, which suggests what you can do on 0800 512 012.
Energy Saving Things to INVEST IN (besides solar panels, both PV and thermal!):
- Fit an Insulating Jacket to Your Hot Water Tank
Conserving energy and costing only about £10 it will pay for itself in under six months. Most are at least 70mm thick, and could save you around £30 a year. Solar Twin do this as standard on their retrofit installations. The very same principle applies to clothing your body (see later).
- Fit Loft Insulation
Houses lose around a quarter of their heat through the roof so insulating your loft to at least the recommended 270mm will cut your heating bills every year by improving home energy conservation.
- Fit Cavity Wall insulation
A third of domestic heat is lost through walls. Usually done non-intrusively, from outside the house, it only takes a couple of hours, potentially saving over £100 every year on your energy bills.
- Fit Draught Excluders
Filling gaps around doors, windows, letterboxes and keyholes with low cost draught excluders could save energy worth around £20 per year. But if you have open fires, make sure you allow a good air supply.
- Fit Heat Recovery Ventilation
These systems can save huge amounts of energy and improve internal air quality at home.
- Double Glazing
Installing double glazing could save up to £80 of energy value a year. As with draught excluders, double glazing make more parts of your rooms comfortable on cold winter nights.
- Upgrade Your Boiler
Domestic heating accounts for 14 % of UK’s CO2 emissions. Upgrading your G-rated boiler to an A-rated equivalent can save around £235 per year of energy bills. Another effective way of reducing household energy bills and carbon emissions.
- Upgrade your boiler controls
so that your living areas, sleeping areas and hot water are each controlled by their own separate timers. And fit thermostatic valves on your radiators
- Insulate behind radiators which are on external walls.
This reduces the heat leaking out of the house.
- Upgrade to Energy Saving Appliances
Replacing white goods (washing machines/fridge freezers etc) with energy saving recommended appliances could save energy worth £5 and £20 each year. If you have solar water heating, try to choose dishwashers and washing machines which are “hot fill” and not “cold fill only” versions.
- Use energy saving light bulbs where you can.
They can last up to 10 times longer than ordinary bulbs – saving you around £40. Remember to dust the bulbs and your light fittings so the light can get out! Cut your lighting costs. Turn off lights when you leave the room.
- Wear Energy Saving Clothes!
Keeping warm means losing less body heat. If you wear extra layers of thin but warm clothes (on your feet, legs, trunk and arms) under your usual clothes your work and home heating does not need to be so warm in winter. Outdoor sports shops supply a great range of such products. This leads to the next step which is…
- FIT SOLAR PANELS: PV modules and solar heating panels – AHA!
That’s at home. Outside the home there are loads of ideas, for example in the area of transport, there are “green driving” courses and dozens of other possible measures…