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Energy advice: 6 need-to-know tips to help you save money this Big Energy Saving Week

Small bits of energy saving advice add up. That's the message this Big Energy Saving Week. Energy Saving Trust have six top tips that could collectively save householders in the UK a cool £1.4billion. 

Smart houseEnergy Saving Trust Analyst, Aled Stephens, explained the logic behind the advice: “Switching energy supplier could save you up to £300. These tips are based on low or zero-cost things you can do to save even more money.”

Aled (pictured) said: “The first three are things you can essentially do once and enjoy the benefits – especially in the case of getting LED lighting replacements, which can last for 30 years. It's hard to quantify the exact savings based on the advice about radiators and furniture, but we know it can improve comfort considerably – something that's very important too.

“The last three are about ongoing behaviour. They require a bit more commitment, but the rewards can be considerable. For example, if 25 per cent of people cut a minute off their showers, this would save the UK around £55m a year.”

But which of the tips might be lesser-known by the public – and which might people be well aware of, but still resisting acting upon? Aled said:

Aled Stephens from Energy Saving Trust“I think the shower savings might not be so widely considered. People may not make the link between the time they spend showering and the dual water and energy expenditure. 

“Maybe people are a little resistant to changing all their old light bulbs, thinking that LEDs are expensive or won't give them the light they need. But when they realise the quality and range of LED lighting available now, and how much prices have dropped, they could well decide to change them straight away.

“While most of these tips are quite well known now, it's important to use this week for a timely check that everyone is making the savings they very easily could.”

Without further ado, here are the new 'big six'...

1. Free your radiator

Moving furniture away from radiators can help make a room more comfortable by letting the warmth circulate better – 42 per cent of homes have one or more radiators blocked by furniture. 

2. Cut the draughts

Draught-proofing windows and doors could save you almost £30 a year—and 46 per cent of households still haven't done this. 

3. Be brighter

Replacing all standard bulbs and halogen spotlights in your home with energy saving light bulbs such as LEDs could save you £35 a year. 


4. Don't stand by

You can save around £30 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode.

5. Kettle correctly

Filling the kettle up with as much water as needed could save around £7 in energy bills a year and around £45m for the UK.

6. Shower smarter

Spending one minute less in the shower each day could save as much as £10 off energy bills each year. If you have a water meter this will save a further £12 off annual water and sewerage bills. 

We're giving you the chance to win money towards your energy costs - with thanks to our friends at Energy UK.

Enter the Big Energy Saving Week quiz and you could WIN £1,500 towards your energy bill.

Discover more ways to save money on your bills with our energy saving quick wins. Do you have any other energy saving tips that should be added to this list? Share your thoughts with us in the comments below, or tweet @EnergySvgTrust. Find out more about Big Energy Saving Week from Citizens Advice.

Gary Hartley is Energy Saving Trust's expert blogger. He has extensive experience researching and writing on a number of topics, with particular expertise in sustainable energy, policy, literature and sport. As well as providing regular blog content, Gary has also been published in numerous magazines and journals.

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Endotherm CH additive added to central heating system will save 15% at least, radiators warm up quicker, system runs quieter, works great with a Chopcloc expect 25% saving in total. Latest Grundfos CH and DHW pump runs both in our house on 10 watts, really old pumps could use 200 watts. Ecocamel Shower Heads use 50% less water and feel just as powerful, saves water, heating costs and reduces exposure to Chlorine in water. ScaleGuard an electric descaler is recommended by Thames Water for hard water areas. sust-it[.]net gives running costs for all kinds of domestic appliances both per hour and an annual total.

Disappointing to see you miss the most profound action anyone can take in a home - turning down the thermostat (and putting a jumper and slippers on!) - see for scientifically verified (by Professor Sir David MacKay) result for Cambridge.

Don't forget to replace external halogens and spot or flood lights with LEDs. Security lighting costs can mount alarmingly.

Cut the cost, not the lighting.

I'd love to change all of my lightbulbs over to LEDs. The only thing stopping me is the quality of LED light. Even with the 2700 rated bulbs, the light quality is till quite blue and very cold looking.
Does anyone know if it's possible to buy very low (80 or less) rated LED bulbs?

Putting bubble wrap on any single glazed door or window that is prone to condensation will make a difference.

Water companies provide a brilliant shower timer that looks like a mini egg timer to stick on your shower wall. It has worked wonders in our family to cut shower times and has made this bit of energy saving fun as well.

Turn thermostat down by 1 c, also make sure family close doors and turn off lights.

We have big 70's windows in exposed location. Replaced old double glazing by changing the glass for A rated. We've thermal linings to all curtains, but still struggle. At night we now also hang fleece throws in the windows - initially used tension curtain rods, but a bit unwieldy so I've changed. Have now got 3/4 Command Hooks (the repositionable ones) fixed to top of each window frame, and brass curtain rings sewn on to the fleeces. Works a treat. Easy to take down and store for daytime and pop up again when we close curtains. We need the supersize ones, but I look online for bargains, and get 2 or 3 so that I can stitch together for the really big windows.

If you have solar panels and a hot water cylinder with an immersion heater buy an I2 intelligent immersion solar diverter (beware imitators). A sensor clips around the incoming cable from the mains to your house and detects when your PV system is "exporting" onto the grid. This spare electricity from your panels is then diverted to heat your hot water cylinder. It constantly adjusts itself to react to clouds across the sun, you switching the kettle on etc, think of it as a dimmer switch for your immersion heater. My gas boiler isn't used at all for about 7 months of the year - my annual gas bill is around £35 (house mainly heated by woodburner).

If you have a tumble dryer you can also benefit from the heat it gives out to warm up the room !

teach the children! I teach my grandson to "power down" each time he leaves a room. e.g my bathroom needs 3 things turned off after use, light/extractor fan, mirror light, shower. I explain to him that if I am not needing that power I don't want to pay for it and also if I don't waste it the country doesn't have to buy it or make it which must leave a tiny bit of money for something else.

Use radiator reflectors. Radiator reflectors work on a very simple principle. Your radiator radiates heat both into the room, and into the wall behind it. That heat can simply be lost to the outside, especially if you have thin single skin walls. Reflectors are installed behind the radiator and help prevent that heat from being lost by reflecting the heat back into the room. They are easy to install by yourself and are cheap to buy, you might even be able to get them free from your energy supplier.

My way...When the warmer days arrive about March/April my Gas boiler goes off at the wall.Only switched on when I need hot water for a bath. In between times I have electric shower.I boil the kettle twice for everyday dishes. Washing machine is used twice a week. My monthly bills since March have been under £39 duel. I live on my own.

I really like your tip about showering smarter! I had no idea that showering for one minute less everyday would save you that much money! That is really great to know. My husband and I have been looking for ways to better manage our home energy so we will have to keep these tips in mind, thanks for sharing!

Line curtains with heat reflecting material.

Turn off all switches in home from on to off and this saves energy - this counts whether plug in socket or not (I have tested on an energy monitor). Shut doors to individual rooms to reduce air movement and draughts and this will reduce the need to turn temperature up - comfort levels increased.

My son recently gifted me some plug in sensor lights to use in the storage cupboard/hallway/bathroom and built in wardrobes, although the energy savings will be small the convenience of lights without touching a switch is magical, also consider using matching fleecy throw-overs on your favourite chairs the reflected insulation helps when you turn down the central heating !

Do not install a Air source heat pump .

Radiators selection for your bathroom also effects on power consumption. Bisque Radiators are ideal among all as we have used them previously and now we are going to purchase new as we are renovating our bathrooms. its good to learn about other energy saving techniques.

It is really a nice and informative blog and the content is really precise. I liked your views on energy saving appliances I will subscribe to it. I am looking forward for more such kind of blogs as they are really mesmerizing. Thanks for such an interesting and wonderful blog.