Most of us have our own tricks for saving energy at home, from washing clothes at 30 degrees to doing a few star jumps in the cold kitchen instead of cranking the heating up. Even the smallest changes to your routine could add up to a good saving on your bills, and a silly knitted jumper is always welcome. But if you want to get a little more serious about energy saving, you might want to look into some of these options.
Get smart with a meter
Digital smart meters, combined with an in-home device or app on your mobile, will help you to monitor and make sense of your energy usage. They’re expected to be in every home by 2020, but the sooner you get this tech the sooner you can start modifying your energy usage based on the information they provide and potentially save yourself a stack of cash.
Let there be LEDs
LED lights just make sense – they save energy and look good too. The bright bulbs can consume as little as just 10% of the energy of an old-style bulb. Replacing all your existing bulbs with LEDs will cut down your energy bills, and since they last longer it’ll also mean less time spent teetering on chairs.
Get ahead in the shower
An energy-efficient showerhead could save water as well as energy and could pay for itself in a year, and you shouldn’t feel the difference in terms of pressure. Also, consider things like hopping out of the shower a minute earlier than usual or brushing your teeth at the same time. Just don’t mix up the toothpaste with the shampoo...
Foolproof your floor and windows
You can’t beat beautiful wood floorboards, but they often have spaces between them that you could park your bike in – just think how much heat leaks through there. Spend some time sealing up those cracks, and you’ll feel the benefit. You’ll want to deal with your whistling windows too.
Get your chimney in check
A real fire is a lovely thing, but think about what your chimney is doing if you’re not sitting around gazing into the flames – you might as well be burning cash in the grate. But there are various options to fix this, from an inflatable chimney balloon to a perspex fireplace shield.
It’s great when you insulate
You can lose an insane amount of heat through your roof – up to a quarter, in fact – so have a think about insulating it. Meanwhile, if you’ve got cavity walls you could save £160 a year in heating bills with cavity wall insulation.
Sun yourself into smaller bills
Got a roof over your head? Look into making it work for you, and the planet, by having solar panels fitted. It’s a major investment, but one that could bring in cheap electricity for as long as you live there: plus with the government feed-in tariff scheme you’ll get paid for whatever you generate, and you can sell any surplus back to the grid too. (Don’t worry about the gloomy British weather – the panels keep plugging away even on cloudy days.)
If that all seems a bit much, you can always start by comparing energy suppliers and considering a switch for starters.– and keep an eye out for energy collectives too.