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Cost-cutting actions

Now that you’ve found out the cost of running your appliances at home, follow our tips and actions to start your energy-saving journey. Change starts with small steps, but that’s not to say they don’t all add up – some households could save up to £450 by becoming more energy-efficient!

Get clued-up about the energy you use and see how much you can save.

 

Indoor lights | Security lights | Garden lights | Kettle | Fridge-freezers | Extra fridges, old fridges or “beer fridges”  | Microwaves | Electric hob | Electric ovens | Dishwasher | Coffee machine | Washing machines | Tumble dryers | Computers | TVs | Phone and laptop charging | Radios | Set-top box | Multi-room speakers | Electric fan heater | Central heating | Underfloor heating | Green house heating | Hot tub | Phantom Load

 

Indoor lights

Turning lights off when you leave a room will help to save money but switching from halogen to LED bulbs will help you save even more. If you replace all of the bulbs in your home with LEDs, then for an initial outlay of around £100, you’ll save about £35 a year on your energy bill. Some of today’s LED light bulbs even claim a lifespan of as much as 25-30 years!

Don’t know if you’ve got halogen lights? Turn them on and put your hand NEAR to the bulb – if it’s hot, it’s halogen. NB: Don’t touch the bulb, they get VERY hot.

Loop user: “It was a real eye-opener on how some lights for example were consuming eight times the electricity than others for equivalent brightness, and also that our old tumble dryer was so inefficient it was contributing nearly a third of our monthly bill!”

Security lights

If your outdoor motion-activated security lights have halogen bulbs and are over-sensitive, they could be adding as much as £25 to your energy bill over the course of a year.  Consider swapping them for modern energy-efficient LED versions.

Garden lights

Use solar lighting as much as possible in your garden. As well as it being a cheap way to light your garden, they’re environmentally friendly too! With no need for plug sockets, they’re an easy way to light up your outdoor space in an energy-friendly way.

Kettle

Make sure you just fill the kettle with the water that you actually need: fill up your mug and pour it in. The savings are around £6 a year, but every penny counts!

Loop user: “It helped prove to our kids how much electricity is wasted by running the shower while getting ready, and re-boiling a kettle when its cooled down.”

Fridge-freezers

Keeping your fridge and freezer full enables it to retain the cold better, meaning it won’t have to work as hard. You can always add bags of ice to your freezer or put a jug of water in your fridge. Also, make sure your fridge is set at the right temperature of 5 degrees Celsius or less, and check there is a gap of around 10cm behind your fridge to let heat flow away more easily.  Lastly, whilst many freezers are frost-free, not all are, so check to see if you need to defrost to keep your freezer running smoothly.

Extra fridges, old fridges or ‘beer fridges’

Unused fridges or freezers could be adding an extra £50 to your energy bill every year! When they’re not in use, switch them off at the plug.

Loop user: “We seem to have an unusually high electricity consumption for the size of the property and the amount of us that occupy it. Having installed the Loop devices we have managed to pin this down to a rather in-efficient chest freezer which despite its energy rating it does not conform to it and we have been able to get a replacement from the manufacturer.”

Microwaves

Microwaves are more energy efficient than using a hob or oven, as they heat the food directly rather than the air around it- just remember to turn it off close the door once you’re finished using it!. Slow cookers are also highly energy efficient, using just a little more energy than a traditional light bulb.

Electric hob

Remember to use the right size pan for the hob ring- using a small pan on a big hob ring will be wasting energy. Use a lid and turn the heat off just before the food is fully cooked to let the remaining heat finish the job. Also, give your hob a quick wipe down to ensure it works effectively.

Electric ovens

A top-rated A+++ rated electric oven uses 60% less energy than a B rated one. While you’ll usually have to pay more for a top-rated appliance, it will save you money in the long run.

Dishwasher

A modern energy efficient dishwasher uses less energy than washing dishes by hand. But you need to avoid pre-washing and put your machine on an eco or economy setting, which means it washes at a lower temperature for a longer period.  As most energy is used heating water, this actually saves money despite taking longer.

Coffee machine

Loop user: “By looking at the power being used and turning off an individual appliance I can see how much it uses on standby. Using that method I worked out the coffee machine was sucking power when it wasn’t turned on – now it gets turned off at the wall switch!”

Washing machines

When your machine needs replacing,  buy an efficient A+++ rated machine. It’ll save you around £5 each year compared with an A+ rated one. In the meantime, make sure to run it at 30 degrees or lower and spin your clothes on the highest spin cycle to remove as much water as possible- this will help your clothes dry more quickly in the tumble tryer.

Tumble dryers

The costs of running tumble dryers varies hugely depending on how modern and efficient your machine is- from as little as £23 to more than £140 a year. When possible, take advantage of the sunshine by hanging clothes on the line instead. And, remember to turn off both your tumble dryer and washing machine at the plug when not in use.

Computers

Loop user: “It was not long after installation of my Loop that I tracked down a high user of electricity. By detective work… I eventually found that a computer, which was no longer in use, but was still connected to an electricity supply was drawing power, and was not shutting down. Once unplugged the electrical power dropped noticeably.”

TVs

The savings from buying a more efficient TV can be surprising. An energy efficient A+ rated 40” TV typically costs £11 to run each year, much less than the average new 40” TV, at £29 to run each year. Even if you’re not in the market to buy a new television, you can make a difference by simply turning down the brightness on your existing set.

Phone and laptop charging

Don’t leave your mobile phone or laptop endlessly charging: they continue to sap energy even when fully-loaded. Try using a smart plug, which stops the electricity flow once the battery is fully charged. Or, invest in standby savers: these devices enable you to turn off multiple plugs at once.

Loop user: “Loop has saved me between 10-25% off my electricity bill in the last year. I have identified several appliances that have cost me more than I thought just by being on stand-by. Now with the use of smart plugs I only have them on when required.”

Radios

Loop user: “We have a number of digital radios in the house and I didn’t realise they use electricity even though they are off as they have no standby light.”

Set-top box

Set-top boxes are one of the biggest energy-wasting culprits in British homes. They could be adding more than £75 to your energy bill if left on standby for a year!

Multi-room speakers

Multi-room speakers can cost almost £20 a year on standby! Make sure you switch them off at the plug when not in use.

Electric fan heater

Even the most efficient electric heaters could use up to four times more energy than a gas central heating system to get a room to the same temperature. As they don’t create any residual heat, they are generally a less energy-efficient option.

Loop user: “My daughter had left an electric fan heater on low in a bedroom that is not used regularly. I noticed a spike in the consumption, so went on the hunt for the culprit!”

Central heating

Turning the temperature down by just 1 degree could save you up to £80 and reduce your home’s carbon dioxide emissions by up to 320kg, all without you even noticing! Investing in smart heating controls such as a smart thermostat and smart radiator values can also help you save money in the long term by enabling you to have better control of the heat you use.

Underfloor heating

Make the most of your underfloor heating by taking steps to retain as much of the warmth generated as possible. That includes ensuring you have properly draught-proofed windows, doors, floorboards, loft hatches and any other gaps. The exceptions are rooms like bathrooms that need ventilation.

Green house heating

Keen gardeners often use a heater in their greenhouse to save the plants from freezing in the coldest months of the year. Take steps to keep your greenhouse as energy efficient as possible so you can use the heater less by sealing up any cracks, replacing broken glass and ensuring vents and doors fit snugly.

Hot tub

Loop user: “I have the Loop connected to the outside hot tub. Some friends stayed recently for a few days while we were away. Although they said they had barely used the hot tub, the Loop info suggested something very different!”

Phantom Load

Some appliances need to be left on all the time- like a fridge or freezer, or kept on standby- like a smart speaker, but many appliances are left on that don’t need to be. This background electricity use is known as “Phantom Load”, because of the way in which energy is invisibly drained without users necessarily knowing about it. Make sure you keep your Phantom Load low by turning items off at the plug when they’re not in use. Most household’s could save an average of £140+ on their annual energy bills!