A year on and we're still mainly working, cooking, exercising and relaxing at home, which means we're naturally using more energy. All of this has an impact on our bills and the size of our carbon footprint.
We all need to play our part in helping Britain achieve our Net Zero goal by 2050. So, how can you be more low carbon and energy efficient at home without much spend or effort?
Read our low carbon life hacks - easy tips to help you and your family reduce your energy use in every room of your home.
1. Home office - reduce your energy use while working from home
- Unplug your devices. When you're working from home, the quickest way to reduce the amount of energy is to unplug any devices you're not using, such as laptops, computers, monitors and speakers. The Energy Saving Trust estimates that Brits could save £1.7 billion a year by switching their devices off, so it's really worthwhile to remember to unplug as often as you can.
- Close the curtains. This will help keep warmth in the room during the night.
2. Kitchen - reduce your energy and water use even when cooking and washing up
- Don't leave appliances on standby in your kitchen. Be energy efficient and switch off your appliances – that little red light means energy is still being used.
Stop the frost. Defrost your fridge freezer regularly to prevent it using more energy than it needs to.
Clean behind your fridge and freezer. This will keep your fridge and freezer cool and working efficiently.
Use smaller pans. The smaller your pan, the less heat is wasted. So make sure you use the right size pan for your meal.
Keep saucepan lids on. Your food will heat up faster.
Turn down the wash cycle. 30 degrees washes reduce electricity use by 57%, not to mention 20kg of CO2 a year.
Use less water
Load up your washing machine fully, rather than doing half loads. And try to use economy or shorter cycles if you can.
Arrange a water-saving home visit (when it's possible to do so) - Some water companies offer to visit you at home to talk to you about your water usage and to give you tips about how you could use less water. They may also be able to fit water-saving devices and make fixes such as shower timers and tap inserts. Get in touch with your water company to find out more.
Choose a low-energy setting on your dishwasher. This may be a shorter programme or a lower temperature setting - or both!
Boil only as much water as you need. Make sure you fill the kettle with exactly the right amount of water – it will heat faster and not waste energy.
Use a washing up bowl. You can reduce your water bills by washing up in a bowl, rather than with water running from a tap.
3. Bathroom - reduce your water bill
Fix leaks and drips. Little leaks can waste a lot of water over time.
Take a shower. Give that rubber ducky a break – showers are usually faster, cheaper and more efficient than baths.
Change your showerhead. A more efficient showerhead with lower water flow could help you save water and energy.
Shower for a shorter time. A shower timer could save you money by cutting just one minute off every shower. A family of four, with a power shower, could save up to £60 on energy bills and £60 on water bills every year.
4. Home heating - whilst using less energy
- Get organised with a thermostat. Set a timer on your thermostat so that when you get home your house is just right – this will ensure you only use as much energy as you need to heat your home.
- Don't heat the rooms you're not in. Individual radiator thermostats mean you can adjust the temperature in each room accordingly.
- Keep doors between adjoining rooms shut. This way, you stop the heat from escaping.
- Turn down the thermostat. Just one degree could save you money – up to £80 a year.
- Run your heating for an hour less each day. Even using a little less energy each day adds up to savings over time.
- Bleed your radiators. This removes any trapped air that stops them from working as efficiently as they could. If you feel confident to do it yourself, check how to bleed your radiators.
5. Home lighting - keep the lights on for less
- Change your light bulbs. Fitting LED bulbs is a great way to reduce energy use at home. It could even save you a few quid as they last up to ten times longer than normal bulbs.
- Switch off the lights. Every time you leave a room, switch the lights off – now that’s a bright idea!
6. Other ways to reduce energy at home
Want to be more energy efficient? There are lots of ways you can help your wallet and the planet by being more energy conscious. Get more energy efficiency tips in our Energywise blog.
Wish you could adjust your heating remotely?
Control your heating wherever you are, even while out of the house. Find out how smart thermostats work and how to get one for your home.
Looking for a brighter energy future?
If you’ve got solar panels or are thinking of getting some soon, it’s worth considering our Powervault battery storage. This solar battery stores your own generated energy for use later on when the sun goes down.
7. Check your energy tariff is the best for you
If you're looking for a tariff that's affordable and low carbon, be sure to do your research. Many energy providers' claims on 'green' energy don't exactly stack up when you look into it.
As Britain's biggest generator of zero carbon electricity, we're serious about reducing our country's carbon emissions to zero. Come on the journey with us and switch to one of our affordable energy tariffs today.