Everyone is aware of the common ways you can save energy at home, investing in more energy efficient devices and making sure your television and other gadgets are switched off rather than on standby. There are however some energy-saving tips that you might not have thought of. Northern Powergrid, who can help with any electric connection around your home, have assembled this helpful list of smart tips that may surprise you…
Using your phone more efficiently
Did you know that for around £20 you can buy plug sockets designed so that they can be switched on and off using your mobile phone?
These will come in handy for the times when you forgot to turn off your TV at the wall and have already left the house. You can save an average of £30 a year just by making sure that your gadgets and devices are turned off at the plug instead of left on standby.
Keeping a well-stocked fridge and freezer
It’s recommended that you keep your fridge and freezer as full as possible to ensure that they aren’t using up too much energy and aren’t being overworked. In addition, if you have empty shelves in your fridge or freezer, it may be a good decision to downsize. If you do decide to swap models, you should choose an A++ model, as these have been shown to save a total of £190 in energy bills throughout their lifetime.
Whatever you decide to do, ensure that you defrost regularly to prevent a buildup of ice, as this can increase your energy use. In addition, don’t forget to clean around the back of your fridge – dust buildup on the condenser coils can cause further energy use.
Becoming a smart cook
You could be using more energy than needed when cooking. If you are cooking rice or vegetables, remember to use the just the right amount of hot water that you need and keep them covered when using a hob. You should also remember to use the right size of pan – cooking a small amount of food in a big pan means that the contents take longer to heat up, which wastes energy.
When using the oven for baking, you can save time by heating up more than one meal. You can make the most of the free space in your oven and save some meals to heat up in the microwave later on. Sometimes, it can even be a good idea to swap your oven for a pressure cooker. Did you know that it actually takes around half the time to cook chicken using a pressure cooker than it would to make the same meal using the oven?
Getting smart in the shower
You can also save energy in the bathroom, especially if you use a shower. If your shower uses hot water from a tank or boiler, as opposed to it being electric, you could start by investing in a more water-efficient shower head. You can still enjoy a powerful shower this way and it will reduce the amount of hot water that you use. By using this handy tip, you can shave up to £75 a year from your energy bill!
No matter what shower type you own, it’s recommended that you fit a shower timer. You could see a saving of £7 a year per person in your household just by reducing the time that you spend in the shower by one minute per day.
Wash your clothes at a lower temperature
Your washing machine can also help you save energy. Did you know that around 90 percent of your washing machines energy usage comes from heating the water? You can help by turning the temperature down when washing your clothes – switching the dial down from 40 ºC to 30 ºC can help you save a third on the cost to run the cycle. Remember to use a hot wash every now and again however, as this will help to keep your washing machine clean. If you can reduce the amount of times that you use your washing machine by just one cycle a week, you will be able to save £5 a year on energy bills. It’s something to think about the next time you only fill up your washing machine half-way!
Lastly, try not to dry your clothes on the radiator – doing so means that your boiler will need to work harder than usual.
Investing in a smart thermostat
If you can turn down your heating by just one degree, you could save up to £80 a year on your energy bills. Smart thermostats take a lot of the hassle out of monitoring your devices.
Although these can sometimes be on the expensive side (some devices cost a few hundred pounds), they could help you in the long term by taking up to a third off your heating bills. These handy devices learn the amount of time it takes to heat up your home and then adjust your heating for you, so that it comes on at just the right time to heat up your home to your required temperature.
Smart thermostats can also be controlled via your mobile phone even when you aren’t in the house – so you need not worry about coming back to a cold house.