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Even the simplest energy-saving habit, like boiling only as much water as you need for your morning cuppa, will cut down on your fuel bills over the long term. Whether you want to combine lots of small changes to make a big impact or go full steam ahead and install solar panels and a mod-con boiler, here are our tips to give you a jump start along the road to greener living:

Free (or cheap) ways to save energy in the next five minutes

  • Switch off and unplug all appliances that aren’t being used at the socket, turn your tv off standby, remove phone chargers from the wall (because they can draw electricity even when they’re not being used!) and turn off any lights in vacant rooms. By turning your appliances off standby mode you could save around £30 a year.

  • Switch regular lightbulbs for energy saving varieties or LEDs. Though they might be pricier than normal bulbs, they cost less to run and have a longer lifespan. In fact, they could save you around £35 per year. Now that’s the kind of saving we like!

  • Open your curtains and blinds to allow natural sunlight to warm up your home if it’s daytime and close them in the evening to keep the heat in when it gets dark. It won’t cost you a penny and you’ll get to keep some extra cash in your wallet.

  • Heating on? Turn it down a single degree and you’ll make a saving of as much as £60 over the year without noticing much of a difference. Also, reveal your radiators – move any curtains or wet clothes off them so the warmth they give off can spread around the room.

  • Heating off and feeling a slight chill? Give your central heating a break and put on a sweater and an extra pair of socks to avoid turning up your boiler.

Going green with your appliances and gadgets

  • Be smart with your appliance shopping and look for dishwashers, washing machines, dryers and fridge freezers with colour coded energy stickers and labels that show how economical a product is. Choose one with a good energy rating that best suits your needs and start saving more on your electricity bills each month.

  • Invest in white goods with delay timers so you can set them up to start running when your energy rate is at its lowest. Dishwashers and washing machines with delay functions are ideal if you’re on an Economy 7 tariff because you can set them to start after midnight when your electricity costs less.

  • Pick up a smart meter and use it to help you find out how much energy you’re using at certain times of the day so you can figure out where to make a saving. It’ll cut out the guesswork and give you an accurate picture of your usage in real time.

Simple energy-saving habits to get into today

Start small and win big over the long term by incorporating daily energy-saving habits into your lifestyle.

  • Cutting your morning shower down by a single minute will save you lots over the course of the year, especially if you have a large family (you can even buy a shower timer to make sure everyone sticks to their shower slot). Doing this might seem minor but it could save you around £10 a year on your energy bills.

  • Better yet, if you’ve got a power shower turn the pressure down before you use it. Believe it or not, having a high-pressured power shower can sometimes use more water than if you were to have a bath, which can have a big impact on your energy usage and bills.

  • Switching from a regular 40° to a 30° wash when washing your clothes might seem like an insignificant habit that won’t make a big impact. But it could save you £30 a year- so it’s well worth doing!

  • When the weather is gloriously sunny, hang your washing outside as an alternative to using your tumble dryer. You won’t be using as much energy and you won’t have to do as much ironing- which we think is a great added bonus.

  • Instead of just running the tap continuously while you wash up your dirty plates and cutlery, fill up a washing up bowl. This simple trick could help you to save yourself £30 a year on your energy bills.

  • Try batch cooking lots of meals at the same time in the oven so you save on electricity – if you’re making a Sunday roast why not put in a lasagne for later in the week if you’ve got the space? Microwave your pre-baked meals later and you’ll use only seconds of electricity to warm them up instead of a full hour in the oven.

  • Speed up cooking times and save on gas by putting large pans on the biggest hob rings and popping lids on them to reach boiling point quicker. Moreover, if you really want to get cooking savvy you could invest in a pressure cooker that cooks food in half the time of regular cookware.

  • Make a habit of regularly bleeding your radiators to ensure trapped air isn’t preventing them from heating up all the way to the top. It’ll boost their performance and warm up your home much faster.

Savvy affordable updates that prevent heat loss

  • Draught excluders are affordable features that you can fit onto the base of your doors to keep the heat in – place one at the foot of the entrance to your home and one at the back door to act as a barrier to blasts of cold air coming in from outside. This simple upgrade to your home could help you keep £65 in your pocket- doesn’t that sound great?

  • You can also get self-adhesive draught-proofing strips to place along window frames and loft hatches that can be cut to size to keep in as much heat in as possible.

  • Sealant is ideal for lining the base of skirting boards and along gaps in floorboards where cold air can get in. Another simple but effective update that could save you more pennies.

  • For a cheaper alternative to draught excluders and sealants, hang thick thermal curtains over your windows to reduce heat loss through your windows.

  • Sealing up disused vents and capping unused chimneys will help you to retain as much of your home’s heat as possible too.

Bigger changes for the longer term

If you’ve got the cash to get cavity wall/loft insulation, a new economical boiler and triple glazing go for it. All of these features will help to insulate your home so it feels warmer whilst using less energy. This not only helps you save on your bills but also reduces your carbon footprint. Better yet, generate your own green energy with solar panels and get part-way to becoming self-sufficient.

 

If you haven’t got the funds to install these environmentally-friendly features you might be eligible for an energy grant that helps you make updates for free through local government schemes.

Compare energy tariffs

Choose an energy supplier that offers you the best deal! It takes minutes to compare tariffs on our Energy Saver app and you can switch companies with ease without it affecting your gas and electricity supply. Lots of us are automatically placed on a standard tariff, which isn’t always the cheapest deal, and remain on it unquestioningly, believing it to be the best available rate. See if you can make a small saving and use the extra cash to update your home with more energy saving features.