Never before has ‘going green’ been more important, which is why thinkinsulation.com is providing some quick and easy tips to make sure we can all do our bit this World Environment Day, 1st June.
Saving energy is a key place to start and there are lots of simple ways to become more energy efficient in the home – many of which don’t cost a penny. In fact, not only are they completely free, they will actually save you money!
Below are our top free energy saving tips. Individually each will make a modest difference, but together add up to significant energy savings.
- Don’t leave appliances on standby
Appliances left on standby are still using a low level of electricity, so turn them off properly before going to bed could save 50kg of CO2 a year and around 8 per cent on your annual electricity bill.
- Set your hot water to 60°C
For the majority of homes, setting the cylinder thermostat at 60°C/140°F is fine for bathing and washing, so make sure you are not using extra energy to heat this water everyday.
- Unplug mobile phone chargers
It’s convenient to leave your mobile phone charger plugged into the wall, but if it is switched on, even without the phone attached, it will be using electricity.
- Turn off lights when a room is not in use
Always switch lights off when you leave an empty room and adjust your curtains or blinds to let in as much light as possible during the day.
- Don’t overfill your kettle
It’s easy to over fill a kettle, but try and only boil the amount of water you need – one cup’s worth is less than you think! Always remember to ensure you boil the minimum amount for the safe use of the kettle – this should be marked on the side of the kettle, but see the manufacturer’s user guide if in doubt.
- Use cooler programmes to wash your clothes and dishes
Modern washing powders work just as well at lower temperatures, so try and use cooler cycles where possible. Washing full loads will also make each load more economical, or alternatively select the ‘half-load’ or economy programme. The average UK household does 274 loads of washing a year, so the savings really add up!
- Draw the curtains to keep in heat
Close your curtains at dusk to minimise heat escape through the windows – even in rooms you’re not using.
- Take a shower rather than a bath
Water requires a lot of energy to heat it up, so taking a shower (which typically uses just 20% of the hot water required for a bath), is a great way to reduce energy use and cut CO2 emissions by around 200kg per person.
- Don’t listen to the radio via digital TV
Listening to the radio via a TV can use over ten times more energy than listening through a radio. It is also worth noting that many digital radios use four times the energy of analogue radios, so get back to basics and listen to FM radio for maximum energy-saving benefits.
- Save water in your cistern
Every time a toilet is flushed, the water has to be purified and pumped round again, all of which wastes a huge amount of water and energy. Placing an object such as a brick in the cistern takes up space, reducing the water needed to fill it and saving up to twice as much water as the average person drinks per year.
- Put a lid on saucepans
Cover pans when boiling water to speed up the process and reduce heat wastage. Select a ring appropriate to the size of pan to further improve energy efficiency.
- Fix dripping taps
A dripping hot water tap can waste enough hot water in one week to half fill a bath, so make sure taps are fully turned off, and repair them if they start to leak.
- Don’t rely on the tumble drier
Tumble driers use a huge mount of heat energy, so make the most of a bright and breezy day by drying washing outside naturally, or use a drying rack if the weather is unforgiving!
Additionally, insulating your home is important whatever the weather, and can provide significant cost and energy savings.
Homes which don’t have any loft insulation can save on average £150 per year on their fuel bills from when it’s installed to the recommended depth of 270mm. Not only is installing loft insulation a pretty straightforward job, but it will boost your homes energy efficiency rating too. And even if you’ve already installed loft insulation, by topping it up to 270mm you could save on average an additional £45 year on year. For more information on how much money and energy you could save on loft insulation visit www.thinkinsulation.com
According to the Energy Saving Trust, there are still 6.3 million homes, which need cavity wall insulation. Cavity wall insulation pays for itself in around two years, and it will typically save 15 per cent – or £115 – a year on your home’s fuel bills. Although not a job for the novice DIY’er, cavity wall insulation needs to be installed by a professional and can be installed in a single day. And the cost of having cavity wall insulation installed has never been lower, as it’s subsidised by the Government which has pledged to slash the UK’s greenhouse gas emissions by 80 per cent by 2050. Find out more about applying for a grant at www.direct.gov.uk.
A further 7 million homes have un-insulated solid walls. External wall insulation can save a whopping £400 a year on energy bills. This means that although it requires a significant investment to install, it begins to pay for itself immediately with huge money savings…and these will continue year on year. Alternatively, internal wall insulation can save around £380 a year on energy bills, and an impressive two tonnes of carbon dioxide annually. For more information and advice, including how to find out if a property has cavity or solid walls, visit www.thinkinsulation.com.