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    Energy saving appliances and lighting

    In the average household lighting contributes to about 15% of the electricity bill. Replacing standard light bulbs with energy saving bulbs can reduce the amount of electricity consumed by one fifth. Although a little more expensive, energy saving bulbs on average last ten times longer than conventional bulbs.

    Homeowners with a central heating system can make further savings by fitting thermostatic radiator valves. This type of valve controls the flow of hot water to the radiator and as the heat level reaches the pre-set temperature the flow is reduced; as the room temperature falls the hot water flow is increased and more heat is generated.

    Thermostatic radiator valves allow different temperatures to be set in different rooms. So in cold weather the rooms used more frequently can be heated at a higher temperature than rooms that are unoccupied or rarely used, making the central heating system far more energy efficient.

    If buying new electric appliances look for those that have an Energy Saving Recommended label. These appliances have been independently tested and found to be more energy efficient without impairing performance. Domestic appliances tested under the scheme include fridges, washing machines, dishwashers etc. 

    The energy consumed by televisions, DVD players and hi-fi systems left on standby makes up a staggering 8% of an average household electricity bill. So when not using these appliances - switch them off.

    Next: Energy saving grants