We’ve all heard of the common household energy saving tips; invest in more efficient appliances and make sure you turn your devices off at the plug. However, there are some energy saving tips that you may not have considered. Together with electric connection specialists Northern Powergird, we’ve assembled this helpful guide of the top six surprising tips for energy saving – after all, every little effort helps towards reducing our bills and running a more energy efficient household.
1. Invest in a shower timer
It’s easy to save energy in the bathroom if you invest in a shower timer. By reducing the time spent showering by just one minute per day, you could save £7 per person for your household. You can fit one of these devices in any shower and they’re relatively cheap to buy, so it’s well worth the investment in the long run.
If your shower uses hot water directly from a hot water tank or boiler, it’s wise to opt for a water-saving shower head. Doing so will mean you still enjoy a powerful shower whilst reducing the amount of hot water used. In fact, it has been calculated that up to £75 a year can be shaved off your bills with this gadget!
2. Keep your fridge well-stocked
Your fridge freezer could be wasting more energy than you think, but there are multiple ways to save in the kitchen. For starters, it’s a good idea to keep them well-stocked, as doing so will mean that they won’t have to work as hard. If you regularly have empty spaces and shelves in your fridge or freezer, it may be wise to consider downsizing — just try and choose an A++ model if switching, as these can save an estimated £190 in energy bills throughout the lifetime of the product.
Whether you invest in a new fridge and freezer or stick with your current model, be sure to defrost them regularly to prevent ice from building up — causing even more energy to be used. Dust should be cleaned away from condenser coils found at the back of the fridge too, as this results in them using yet more unnecessary energy.
3. Save energy using your phone
For around £20, you can buy special plug sockets that can be switched on and off via your mobile device.
This design will surely come in handy if you’ve suddenly remembered you haven’t turned off your TV at the wall and are already out of the door. After all, turning gadgets off at the plug instead of putting them on standby can save a household on average £30 each year!
4. Control your heating remotely
Most of us already know that we can save energy by turning down the heating – but did you know that you can actually save a massive £80 per year on your bills by turning down the thermostat by just a single degree?
Smart thermostats take all of the hassle out of monitoring these household devices. While these can come with hefty price tags (some smart thermometers can set you back a few hundred pounds), they could see as much as a third being taken off your heating bills in the long-term. This is because the gadgets learn the time it takes to heat a home and then adjusts the heating so that it comes on at the precise time to bring a property up to temperature.
Don’t worry about coming home to a cold property either — smart thermostats are designed so that they can be controlled using your mobile phone even when you’re not at home.
5. Cool down your washes
As around 90 per cent of a washing machine’s energy expenditure is down to heating the water, washing your clothes at 30ºC instead of 40ºC can see you saving a third of the cost to run the cycle. Just be sure to run a hotter wash from time to time, as this will ensure the washing machine stays clean.
You could also save £5 a year on your energy bills by reducing the times you use your washing machine by one cycle per week — something to consider the next time you only fill your washing machine half way or less!
On the topic of laundry, try to refrain from drying clothes and garments on radiators. Doing so means that your home’s boiler will need to work harder than is necessary.
6. Become a more efficient cook
Cooking can potentially waste a lot of energy if you’re not careful when it comes to your oven and hobs. Remember to only use enough water to keep vegetables covered when cooking them on a hob and ensure you’re using the right ring for the size of pan — you’ll be wasting energy by cooking a small meal in a big pan, as well as time as you need to wait longer to heat up the contents in a large pan on a small ring.
If you’re a baking enthusiast, you could save a lot of time by baking a few meals at the same time. After all, every shelf in your oven will be getting heated up so you may as well make the most of the space and then have some meals ready to heat up in a microwave later on.
Sometimes, you should even discard your oven for a pressure cooker. Did you know, for instance, that cooking chicken in a pressure cooker takes around half the time as it would to cook the same meal in an oven?