10 behaviour tips to save energy and money

Sometimes a little effort is necessary to make an impact on the energy you use every day. Here’s a list of simple actions you can take to reduce your energy consumption and costs.

1. Drawing your curtains and blinds at dusk helps to keep heat generated in the room. Historic shutters are surprisingly effective at heat and money saving: if you have shutters fitted, close them at night and when you are out of the house.

2. Switch off all electrical appliances at the socket instead of using the ‘standby’ function. It saves an average £33 per year on energy bills and 130 kg CO2.

Always check the Energy Performance Label, or for an Energy Saving Trust Recommended Label when purchasing domestic appliances. An A or B rated appliance will save you a great deal of money, especially for appliances which are continually running such as fridges and freezers.

3. Turn lights off when a room is empty. Use natural light as much as possible. If you fit an energy saving light bulb, it will use up to 80% less electricity and will last ten times longer than an ordinary bulb.

4. Turn your thermostat down…
Reducing your room temperature by 1⁰C could cut your heating bill by 10% and saves you £55 and 280 kg of CO2 per year. If you have a programmer, set your heating and hot water to come on only when you need them.

5. Take shorter showers instead of having a bath. Use an egg timer to time yourself in the shower. Fit a flow regulator or an aerated showerhead.

6. Putting a lid on your saucepan uses up to 90% less energy and it boils your pasta faster! Also use a pan which is the same size as the ring to prevent heat loss.

7. Where possible, use a low temperature setting such as 30 degrees when washing clothes and only wash full loads. Over a year, it uses around 30% less electricity than washing at 40⁰C. In summer dry clothes outside instead of using a tumble dryer. When drying clothes indoors, use a clothes rail instead of a radiator as this prevents the heat from reaching the rest of the room.

8. The recycling process consumes less energy – and therefore produces less carbon – than the extraction and processing of new raw materials. By recycling more at home you can do your bit to help to reduce the impact on climate change. Opt for items with a longer life rather than disposables.

9. Composting vegetable/fruit peelings, leaves and garden waste -up to 30% of the refuse in the average household bin- reduces the amount of rubbish you send to landfill. Compost improves your soil, reduces the need for artificial fertilisers and means you don’t have to buy any fertilisers.

10. Avoid food waste by buying long life food and using up leftovers. Producing, transporting and storing food uses huge amounts of energy, water and packaging. When you waste food, you waste all of these resources too.

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