Mile End resident and Lib Dem team member Venessa Moffat has come up with the following energy saving tips, especially in the current looming energy crisis we all face!
1. Heating and water
Turn the water temperature down a bit, or turn the heating down by 1deg – over time this will save you more than you realise. The timings of the heating and water over each day can equally impact the size of the bills you receive. People are also heat-creating machines – we turn food into heat. If you’re cold sitting down, then consider moving around and go up and down the stairs a couple of times. There’s the added benefit of getting a bit of exercise!
2. Windows, curtains and blinds
Just as double glazing works to keep heat in and cold out, your blinds and curtains can also help. Even if you have double or triple glazing in your home and they are draught-proofed you can still lose heat through your windows. If the sun is warm in the day time, you can benefit from the heat by keeping curtains open, and then at night time close them to keep the heat in.
3. Call the supplier and check you’re on the right tariff
If you live on your own, or are on a low income, you may be on the wrong tariff. Call your provider, and ask them if there is a better one. Alternatively, check with uswitch.com and see if there is a cheaper provider.
4. Does your supplier offer smart meters?
These meters can be installed by some providers for free, and will allow you to see how much energy you’re using. You’ll no longer need to take manual readings for your gas and electricity. With a smart meter, all that data is sent to your supplier automatically. All of this helps with budgeting and forward-planning.
5. Obvious one – turn off things when they are not being used, including standby
There are several studies that show a significant saving by turning off all standby devices. This could be your TV, or Alexa / Echo, or your toothbrush charger – turn them all off when they are not being used, and you’ll save even more.
6. Reduce the use of hot things
Anything that creates heat is using more energy than other devices like the hairdryer, the kettle, the tumble-dryer etc. The less you use these devices, the more you will save. Simples.
7. Think more circular – what can be re-used?
As an example, instead of boiling a kettle for gravy, consider using the hot water from the vegetables – it adds more flavour too! If you have a wood burner, look for people in your local community who are trying to offload wood from projects. Facebook marketplace can be good for this. These are just a couple of examples!
8. Consider using the microwave more
Microwaves heat things up much faster than the oven, so there may be some foods which can be microwaved, rather than oven baked. One way of leveraging this may be to batch cook meals such as spaghetti bolognaise (with friends maybe) and then the resulting extras can be stored and ‘pinged’ in the microwave in minutes.
9. Efficient LED bulbs
The old energy-efficient light bulbs were slow to warm up and still broke after a while, whereas now, there are some very good energy-efficient LED bulbs on the market. They do cost a little more than normal bulbs, but they more than make up for it in decent light output and longevity. It goes without saying to turn lights off when the room isn’t in use….
10. Invest in smart tech products
Last on the list are smart tech products, such as Zado or Hive, which can help you manage your heating and hot water more efficiently. These are last on the list because there is a bit of an outlay to purchase them and then have them installed. However, with the energy prices soaring, you could see ROI in months this Winter. Now might be a good time to invest. Don’t forget to employ a local tradesperson to help your local community!