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Reduce your energy bills and save money

Tokyo lightsAs well as saving money through switching suppliers or tariffs, you could also save money on your bills by using less gas and electricity around the house. As well as saving money, you could also be helping to protect the environment.

Even if you save money by switching energy suppliers or tariffs, it doesn't mean that you can't take steps to further reduce your electricity and gas bills. So in addition to saving money, you could also be helping to protect the environment. Here are a few suggestions for saving on power usage around the house:

  • Standby inaction: Steps are being taken to phase out the standby function on most appliances. And it's no surprise, considering that an estimated 8% to 10% of all household electricity usage is squandered on electrical equipment left on standby. So you can make a significant saving - not to mention reduction in carbon emissions - by turning things off properly.
  • No charge: Similarly it makes good sense to ensure that mobile phone chargers and other power supplies are switched off at the mains. It is estimated that 95% of all energy used by phone chargers in the UK is wasted, due in the main by being left switched on at the wall. Switch it off!
  • Embrace the darkness: It's an easy habit to get into, but it will save a great deal of energy just to switch off a light when the last person leaves the room. In addition, the switch to energy-efficient bulbs is a prudent one. They waste considerably less energy (they use 75% less electricity), and last a good deal longer than ordinary bulbs (up to 12 times), which more than makes up for their slightly higher cost.
  • The big chill: A fridge or freezer will have to use more energy to keep your produce cold if there are big gaps of open space inside. Either keep your fridge/freezer well stocked, or - if it's a while before your next big shop - stuff carrier bags with newspaper and keep them in the spaces.
  • Going off the boil: Only boil as much water as you need each time in your kettle. Heating water is comparatively expensive, so it's worthwhile making sure that all you boil goes to good use.
  • No longer dirty at thirty: Most washing powders nowadays will give your clothes a thoroughly good clean even at 30°C. So why not reduce the temperature at which you do your wash? In addition, be sure that you always wash a full load, rather than small amounts at a time. This will save on both energy and washing powder
  • Don't overheat: It's a good idea to fine-tune your home heating habits. Why not turn your thermostat down a degree, or adjust your timer so that your house is only being heated when necessary? Plus, it is more energy efficient to heat your house at a lower temperature over a longer time, rather than in short bursts of high heat.
  • Insulation - that's what you need: Investing in loft and cavity wall insulation needn't cost a packet, but it just might save you a big lump on your energy bill. Insulation helps to stop heat escaping from your house and so less energy is wasted. Grants can be available to help you with insulation costs.
  • Stay informed: To find out more about energy efficiency and how you can reduce usage and save money from the Energy Savings Trust or from your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre on 0800 512 012.

To find out more about energy efficiency and how you can reduce usage and save money from the Energy Savings Trust or from your local Energy Efficiency Advice Centre on 0800 512 012.

photo: kevinpoh

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