The electricity and gas used by UK households is responsible for a quarter of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Switching to clean power is a great way to reduce your own home’s impact.
Even if you’ve already switched to a renewable power supplier, you can help even more by reducing the amount of energy you use. As well as being better for the planet, it will help reduce your bills too.
To help you get started, here are our top 20 tips for saving electricity at home:
#1 Switch to LED Bulbs
They're far more efficient than incandescent lightbulbs, last longer and can provide a cleaner, more natural looking light.
#2 Install smart switches
There's loads available, from simple timed switches to ones that can be controlled remotely from your smartphone. This makes it much easier to make sure that your electronics aren't left on standby.
#3 Turn it off at the switch
Leaving electronics on standby means that electricity is still being used so they can be turned on at a moment’s notice. Turning these appliances off at the wall stops this from happening – you could even use a smart switch as mentioned in the point above. (This counts for your lights as well, an LED will reduce cost but turning them off will cut it completely).
#4 Clean the coils on your fridge
Chances are you’ve never bothered to do this. The coils on the back of your fridge can get really dirty which reduces efficiency, so aim to give them a clean at least once a year. Your fridge will last longer and cost less money to keep running.
#5 Keep your fridge and freezer full
A full fridge-freezer needs less energy to keep cold as the items inside maintain the temperature.
You don’t always need to do a food shop to make this happen. Simply filling up a jug with water for the fridge will have the same effect, plus this allows you to always have cold water straight from the fridge, saving water when running the tap. To keep your freezer full why not fill the empty spaces with paper?
#6 Keep your fridge and freezer warmer
Turning your fridge and freezer up by just one degree won’t make any difference to you, but it can save a whole lot of energy over the year.
#7 Defrost frozen food in the fridge
Not only is this more hygienic to do, the frozen food will help keep your fridge cool meaning that it needs much less power to run.
#8 Be efficient when cooking
Use lids when boiling pans on the hob and make sure that you’re using the right saucepan on the right ring. This can make a huge difference, speeding up cooking times and using far less energy. Another great tip is to use the whole oven when you’re cooking so that the energy being used to heat the oven isn’t wasted.
#9 Wash clothes on a lower temperature
Most of your washing can be done at a lower temperature – like 30 degrees – and still provide the same results. Doing this will help to reduce your electricity consumption as your washing machine won’t need to heat the water to such a high temperature.
#10 Air dry wherever possible
Tumble driers can consume huge amounts of electricity. If it’s a nice day, dry your washing outside or leave it to air indoors if it isn’t so nice outside. Be cautious drying clothes directly on the radiator – you’ll prevent the heat from spreading through the room, which means your heating system will have to work even harder to bring the room up to temperature.
#11 Utilise the sun for warmth and light
The sun is an excellent form of energy, just look at the renewable electricity we generate from it. Keeping your curtains open during the day can help bring warmth and light into your home, reducing your need for energy required to heat or light your house.
#12 Don’t boil a full kettle
Unless you’re making tea for eight people, there’s not much call to keep the kettle full. Not only does it take longer to boil, it requires more energy to do so – simply filling for roughly the amount you need to use can save you money and time with every cuppa.
#13 Purchase energy efficient appliances
This is an expensive one to get into, but if you’re upgrading appliances then making sure you get one with a high efficiency rating will help save you money every day that it’s running.
#14 Generate your own electricity
If you’re really serious about saving electricity in your house, then investing in solar panels or other renewable technology is a great way of doing this. It will take a few years to break even on this investment, but you’ll start saving money on your electricity bills straight away as you can use the electricity you generate rather than taking it from the grid.
#15 Spend less time in the shower
Especially true if you have an electric shower and a water meter. Spending even a minute less in the shower every day can make a real difference to your annual consumption, although how much will depend on your shower unit.
#16 Set your thermostat a little lower
While not strictly saving electricity as most homes in the UK use gas, setting your thermostat just one degree lower can have significant savings on your energy bill as a whole. If you want to make your heating greener, take a look at our carbon neutral gas.
#17 Open the window instead of using an extractor fan
Zero electricity usage, plenty of fresh air and it stops condensation, what’s not to love? This simple change can make a real difference over the course of a year.
#18 Use the microwave when you can
Microwaves are far more efficient than traditional ovens as they use less energy and take far less time to achieve the desired results.
#19 Regularly service your appliances
Making sure that your boiler, fridge and oven are running as smoothly as possible is key to efficiency.
Servicing doesn’t always have to come at a cost. An action like cleaning the coils on your fridge for example is free, but it can go a long way in making your appliance cheaper and more efficient to run.
#20 The dishwasher may be better
If you have a new energy efficient dishwasher, you may find that it actually uses less energy and water to use the dishwasher than it does cleaning by hand. This is especially true when running your dishwasher with a full load, as you’d need to be able to wash at least eight full settings plus general serving and cooking utensils in one wash using as little water as possible.
Want to go the next step and make sure that your home is powered by 100% renewable electricity from independent generators found all around the UK? Sign up to Good Energy today and work towards a greener, cleaner future together.