With soaring electricity costs and the urgent need to protect and preserve our planet, becoming more energy savvy is now more important than ever. And whilst it may seem an overwhelming task, there are actually some simple steps you can take that will make a big difference to both your wallet and the environment.
Unplug: Even when you are not using an appliance, it is still drawing ‘phantom electricity’ from the plug, so with the exception of the fridge and freezer, most other appliance plugs can and should be switched off when not in use.
Lose the lighting: Do not turn on lights when there is sunlight; remember to turn them off when not in use, and switch to energy-saving lightbulbs which consume up to 80% less electricity than traditional lightbulbs and also last longer.
Opt for energy efficient: The better the energy efficiency rating of your appliance the less electricity it will consume. Energy efficiency labels make it easy to quickly read the rating of newer appliances with a rating system from D (the worse) to A+++ (the best). If you have old appliances in the home, it is worth investing in newer models which will save you money in the long-run.
Careful with the kettle: Only fill your kettle with the amount of water you require to make your cup of tea or coffee rather than filling it up. More energy is required to heat the excess amount of water that you are not going to use.
Keep energy in: Check your doors and windows for draughts where heat or cool air in your home can escape and fix these where you can. Door draught excluders and insulating tape for windows are both inexpensive solutions. Keeping curtains drawn or blinds down also helps to keep your heat or cool air in and maintains the temperature of the home, as can closing internal doors.
Be thrifty with your thermostat: Simply lowering your thermostat by a couple of degrees can make a huge difference to your heating bill.
Wash well: When using the washing machine ensure that you are running a full load and lower the temperature setting of your wash programme. Tumble dryers consume a lot of energy so air-dry clothing whenever possible instead.
Choose your cooking method: Whilst oven cooking is a great method, when it comes to energy efficiency it lags behind the microwave or convection oven which both take less time (= less electricity) to cook food than a conventional oven.
Perfect timing: If you are trying to keep your home cool with air conditioning avoid cooking or running large appliances (such as the washing machine, dishwasher or tumble dryer) in the heat of the day as this can heat up the home. Choose to run your appliances at night when the temperature is cooler or when there is no one home.
It may take a little time to adjust to energy saving measures, but they will soon become habits that make a huge difference!
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