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Energy saving tips

Heating

  • Turn your central heating thermostat down - a reduction of only 1°C can save up to £50 a year; in addition, turning the radiators off or down in rooms which you do not use as often will avoid heating the whole house unnecessarily.
  • Time your central heating to switch off half an hour before you leave the house: radiators continue to provide heat for some time after turning off; and don’t forget to turn off your central heating when you leave the house.
  • The recommended temperature for hot water cylinder thermostats is 60°C - check that yours is running efficiently.
  • Consider shortening the time that you have your heating on, for example, reducing usage by 30 minutes each day.

Lighting

  • Remember to switch the light off when you leave the room.
  • Use energy saving light bulbs, especially for rooms which are used more often. These use 75% less energy and last 10 times longer than normal bulbs, potentially saving you £40 a year.
  • If you have halogen bulbs,consider changing the light fitting, or use LED light bulbs.

Electricity

  • Turn off your appliances at the socket to avoid using the standby function, which uses energy when appliances are not in use; after recharging any electrical devices, such as your mobile phone, make sure you unplug the charger.
  • Consider doing your laundry at 30°C, as this could mean using around 40% less energy; also consider using a quick wash cycle.
  • When ever possible, hang your laundry out to dry instead of using a tumble drier.
  • When buying new appliances, look out for energy saving recommended products and buy A-rated appliances wherever possible.

Water

  • Only fill the kettle with the amount of water you need.
  • When you are running the hot water tap waiting for it to warm up, consider saving this water for alternative purposes, such as watering the plants.
  • Connect a water storage butt from the gutter of your shed/house roof to collect rainwater for watering your garden.
  • Consider taking a shower instead of a bath as this uses less water.

Insulation

  • Check your loft is sufficiently insulated: about a quarter of heat can be lost through the roof of a house.
  • Draught proof windows and doors - keeping draughts out means you will need to use your central heating less often to warm up your home.
  • Try to ensure your curtains are lined and close them at night to stop heat loss through the windows.

Food and cookery

  • Reuse your shopping carrier bags or use natural fibre bags made from hessian, jute or cotton to carry your shopping; also avoid using the plastic bags provided for loose fruit and vegetables.
  • Consider how you cook your food: keeping it warm not only uses more energy but dries it out.
  • Use the right size pan for the hob size and the amount of food you are cooking; also keep the lid on a saucepan, which should enable you to reduce the heat a little.
  • Use a toaster rather than the grill when making toast.
  • Consider cooking double portions and freezing one, as well as freezing leftovers for another day.

Transport

  • Consider walking or using a bike for short journeys. This is a good way to save fuel and to keep fit.
  • Cold engines may take up to 5 miles to become effective, and use nearly double the amount for fuel.
  • Check your tyre pressure: low tyre pressures can use additional fuel.
  • Aim to drive at a steady speed, avoiding sharp acceleration.
  • Go up a gear as soon as possible: look at your rev counter. You should change up before 2,500 rpm for petrol and 2,000 for diesel.
  • Avoid braking sharply - decelerating slowly is better.
  • Roof and bike racks reduce fuel efficiency: remove these when not in use.
  • Air conditioning increases fuel consumption, consider opening your windows to cool the inside of your car.
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