How to Save Energy in Your Home and Reduce Your Bills
Reducing Energy Use is Part of a Frugal Lifestyle
With the cost of energy rising every day, reducing wastage in the home is important if you want to save money. Not only is it possible to cut electricity consumption, but savings can also be made on the use of other energy sources such as coal, gas and oil. This hub gives basic common sense tips you can try in order to cut your energy use, reduce CO2 emissions and do your bit to save the planet!
Install More Efficient Lighting
- Turn off all lights in rooms you aren't using to reduce electricity use.
- Fit dimmer switches to reduce light intensity when full brightness isn't required.
- Replace incandescent light bulbs with energy saving CFL (Compact Fluorescent Lighting) bulbs.These offer an 80% saving in energy. A 20 watt CFL for instance produces the same amount of light as a 100 watt incandescent. You can also use the newer LED bulbs. These are expensive at present but more efficient even than CFL and this is the technology we will be using in the near future
- Consider using sodium lighting outdoors to light up the yard rather than halogen floodlights. This is the most efficient form of lighting in terms of light output per watt
Cutting the Cost of Heating Your Home
- The room thermostat of a central heating system can be turned down a couple of degrees to save energy. In cold weather a far better way of keeping warm than sitting down in a room is to do light work or some other chore which entails movement.
- Fit thermostatic valves to your radiators. These shut off flow of water through the radiator when the room reaches a set temperature. This reduces the duration the boiler is running, cutting down on oil or gas consumption.
- Reduce the temperature on the thermostat of the immersion heating element if electricity is used to heat water. Ensure the water tank is lagged.
- Insulate your home to prevent heat being lost to the outside. The loft can be insulated with 6 inches or more of fibre glass or rock wool between the joists.
Reducing Electricity Consumption of Appliances
- When boiling a kettle just put enough water into it for your needs rather than leaving water in it which will just cool down
- Unplug appliances which can be put on standby. So called "vampire appliances" on standby can use up to 25% of the energy they use when fully switched on
- Use a microwave for cooking vegetables, heating soup and any other form of heating rather than sauce pans on a cooker / kitchen range
- When using the washer, select a quick wash if clothes aren't very dirty
- Place the freezer in the garage or coldest room of the house
- When buying new appliances such as fridges, freezers and washers, consider appliances which are power saving and look for an energy rating sticker on the appliance. An "A" rating indicates that the appliance is very energy efficient
- If your electricity supply company can provide you with a night rate meter, this allows you to use cut price electricity at off peak times (typically 11 pm to 8pm). If you are a "night owl", you can do washing, dry clothes and use other high powered appliances during this period. A secondary meter normally incurs an additional periodic surcharge/overhead on your bill, so you need to make it worthwhile by shifting electricity usage to night hours
Track Electricity Usage With an Energy Monitor Adaptor
You can buy an electricity usage monitor for keeping track of the running cost of electricity for running an appliance. These monitors which are available from Amazon and electrical and DIY stores plug into a socket outlet.The appliance is then plugged into the monitor. These devices will monitor voltage, current, power drawn by the appliance, the duration the appliance has run for (useful for devices like freezers which cut in and out) and the energy usage in kwh. By inputting the price of electricity per unit, the cost of running the appliance can also be displayed.
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