There are all kinds of ways to make your home more energy efficient. Some of them are really simple changes of behaviour that cost nothing and could ultimately save you pounds. Other ideas might cost you money in the short term, but can lead to major savings on your energy bills in the long term.
Let's start with the easy stuff:
How to be more energy efficient
We can all make small changes that cost nothing but can reduce the amount of energy we use. For example:
- Turn off. That little red 'standby' light means you're using electricity - all the time! You might be surprised to learn the average UK household spends around £30 per year powering appliances on standby mode(1)
- Get loaded. A half-empty washing machine or dishwasher wastes energy and water
- Stay cool. You can use a whopping 40% less electricity by turning your clothes wash down to 30°(1)
- Hang out. Drying your washing on the line is more energy efficient than any tumble drier and could save you up to £30 per year(1)
- Clean up. Regular defrosting and cleaning can help keep fridges and freezers working efficiently.
Brand new appliances aren't cheap. But choose wisely and, over time, the money you could save on your energy bills will offset the initial expense. The important thing is to make sure you:
- Check the rating. Under current EU law, any new appliance you buy will carry an energy-efficiency label. The ratings go from A (green - most efficient) to G (red - least efficient). To give you a rough idea of what those ratings mean, an A+++ fridge freezer compared to an A+ model could save you as much as £200 and 580kg of CO2 over the appliance's lifetime.(1)
If you'd like more in-depth information on energy-efficiency ratings and an idea of the money you can save, take a look at the EU guidelines on energy-efficiency labelling.
If you're in the market for a new appliance, you can see Toptenuk's most energy-efficient appliances like washing machines, ovens and freezers. They list the most efficient appliances based on their EPC rating. It's a great guide for when you're being conscious about your next purchase.
A lot of the time, being more energy efficient while you're cooking is simply a matter of making the right choices, such as:
Apart from obvious energy-saving moves like repairing leaks and choosing showers over baths, if you're remodelling your bathroom, consider the following:
Why smart meters help with energy efficiency
One of the best ways to become more energy efficient is by installing a smart meter. With a smart meter, you can see your energy use in pounds and pence, in near-real time. And because it sends us automatic readings, you'll no longer have to put up with inconvenient meter readings and, best of all, you'll never have an estimated bill again. You'll simply pay for the energy you use.
Are you interested in getting a smart meter? See if there are appointments available in your area and find out everything you need to know about smart meters.