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Securing energy savings while still staying warm

Reduce gas and electricity usage without resorting to turning off the heating altogether

Living in a home without adequate heating can have a negative impact on both our physical and mental health and with rising energy costs, many of us are switching off our heating units entirely to save money. But there are several steps that can be taken to reduce gas and electricity usage without resorting to turning off the heating altogether.

By focusing on cutting back on wastage and creating greater efficiency where possible, some relatively minor behavioural changes can help to lower the money spent on energy bills, while also having a positive impact on our carbon footprint.


Reduce the energy usage of household appliances

Many common household appliances use far more energy than we might realise. By making small changes to how we use these appliances, we can deliver real savings in our energy bills.  

As an example:

  • Tumble dryers use up a significant amount of energy. As an alternative, consider drying clothes on a clothes horse, outside, or by an open window.
  • Cut back on how often you use the dishwasher per week and instead hand wash dishes.
  • Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need to use at the time.
  • Aim to keep your showers are short as possible.
  • Run your washing machine at 30 degrees and ensure you are washing a full load each time.
  • If any of your lightbulbs need replacing, consider making the switch to LED or other energy-efficient light bulbs.
  • It sounds simple but get into the habit of switching off lights in rooms you aren’t using.
  • Ensure your fridge is set between 3 and 5 degrees and defrost your freezer regularly.
  • Finally, switch off your electrical appliances properly when not in use, rather than leaving them on standby.


Optimise your home’s heating system

Each heating system has its differences, so it’s important to understand your specific unit and understand how to optimise using it.

For instance, if you have an immersion heater it should only need to run for a couple of hours to provide  enough hot water for the entire day. This means if you pay less money for electricity at night, you could set the timer on your immersion so it only heats water at night.

To increase the energy efficiency of your heating system, you could invest in an insulating jacket for your water tank or install foam insulation around your hot water pipes. Both are a non-costly investment that can deliver significant energy savings for your household in the long run.

At this time of year, it’s commonplace to fall into the trap of overheating the house in the evenings as the temperature drops, but keeping your home at a constant temperature, is far more energy efficient. It’s therefore worth setting your heating time to begin slightly earlier at a lower temperature to maintain a steadier temperature in the home.


Monitor your energy bills closely and consider switching suppliers

One of the best ways to keep on top of energy usage is to regularly review your energy bills. If you have a Smart meter or an In-Home Display, you may even be able to access daily or weekly information on your usage.

This information can help you to recognise more behaviour that is driving up energy consumption in the house and can lead you to identify any faulty appliances. Having access to the information should also give you a sense of whether the prices you are paying are fair and at market value – you can find these figures here. You can use this knowledge to determine whether better tariffs and offers may be available with competitors.