We’re all responsible for the energy we use in our homes. Whether you’re a homeowner, private or social renter, student, or you live at home with your parents, there are many things you can do to reduce how much energy you use and how much is spent. Please note, all savings on this page are based on figures for Great Britain and are not applicable to Northern Ireland.
The information on a typical energy bill can be confusing. But understanding it can go a long way to helping you get to grips with your energy use.
This video from Home Energy Scotland provides a helpful guide.
You can save around £30 a year just by remembering to turn your appliances off standby mode.
Almost all electrical and electronic appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. You may want to think about getting a standby saver which allows you to turn all your appliances off standby in one go.
Check the instructions for any appliances you aren’t sure about. Some satellite and digital TV recorders may need to be left plugged in so they can keep track of any programmes you want to record.
You can save around £36 a year from your energy bill just by using your kitchen appliances more carefully:
If you’ve got a shower that takes hot water straight from your boiler or hot water tank (rather than an electric shower), fit a water efficient shower head. This will reduce your hot water usage while retaining the sensation of a powerful shower.
A water efficient shower head could save a four person household (e.g. a family of four or even a shared student flat) as much as £75 a year on gas for water heating, as well as a further £120 on water bills if they have a water meter.
Calculation is based on the assumption that a family of 4 takes 20 showers a week and replaces a 13 litre/minute power-shower head with a 7.7 litre / min water efficient shower head, and the family are charged £2.97 per cubic meter of water used (includes sewage charge).
Spending one minute less in the shower each day will save up to £7 off your energy bills each year, per person. With a water meter this could save a further £12 off annual water and sewerage bills. If everyone in a four person family did this it would lead to a total saving of £80 a year.
Unless your home is very new, you will lose some heat through draughts around doors and windows, gaps around the floor, or through the chimney.
Professional draught-proofing of windows, doors and blocking cracks in floors and skirting boards can cost around £200, but can save around £20 a year on energy bills. DIY draught proofing can be much cheaper. Installing a chimney draught excluder could save around £15 a year as well.
More than half the money spent on fuel bills goes towards providing heating and hot water. Installing a room thermostat, a programmer and thermostatic radiator valves and using these controls efficiently could save you around £150 a year. If you already have a full set of controls, turning down your room thermostat by just one degree can save around £75 a year.
Whatever the age of your boiler the right controls will let you:
Smart heating controls are the latest innovation to help you control your heating and understand your energy use.
They allow you to control your heating remotely via a mobile app, meaning that you can manage the temperature of your home from wherever you are, at whatever time of day.
You can now get LED spotlights that are bright enough to replace halogens, as well as regular energy saving bulbs (‘compact fluorescent lamps’ or CFLs). They come in a variety of shapes, sizes and fittings.
If the average household replaced all of their bulbs with LEDs, it would cost about £100 and save about £35 a year on bills.
Turn your lights off when you’re not using them. If you switch a light off for just a few seconds, you will save more energy than it takes for the light to start up again, regardless of the type of light. This will save you around £15 on your annual energy bills.
If you’re a homeowner, there are some other things you can consider to improve the energy efficiency of your home. These can be more costly to put in place, but will benefit you in the long term.
If you're based in Scotland, get in touch with Home Energy Scotland (HES) on 0808 808 2282 for advice. Lines are open on Monday to Friday from 8am to 8pm and Saturday from 9am to 5pm.Request a callback
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