Money Saving Through Energy Efficiency – 2 February 2010

With the continuing freezing conditions and the average annual energy bill at £1,230, Grimsby Energy Performance Certificate provider Colin Childs from offers some energy-efficiency tips that could lead to welcome energy bill savings for Lincolnshire householders. "Whilst visiting Lincolnshire homes to produce Energy Performance Certificates, we have become increasingly aware of the difficulties residents are facing in meeting the costs of rising energy bills," says Colin. "The recent and continuing cold weather is just making matters worse. Fortunately, there are some energy-efficiency measures that can be started immediately that cost nothing to implement but still deliver savings."

Turn down the thermostat. Reducing your thermostat setting by just one degree could cut your heating bills by up to ten percent and typically saves around £55 a year. Likewise, turning your heating off half an hour before you go to bed and before you leave the house in the morning could save a further £20.

Water too hot? If you have a cylinder thermostat, this should be set no higher than 60 degrees Celsius.

Keep the heat in. Closing your curtains at dusk reduces heat escaping through the windows.

Turn lights off. Remembering to switch lights off when leaving a room is estimated to save around £30 a year. Using desk and table lamps in areas where you need light, rather than lighting the whole room, will reduce energy use and cost.

Appliances on standby. Turning all appliances off rather than leaving them on standby could save in the region of £40 a year. This also includes unplugging phone and laptop chargers when not in use and not leaving games consoles on idle.

Washing and drying. Washing clothes at 40 degrees rather than 60 can save up to £10 a year. Modern washing powders and detergents are designed to work at lower temperatures. Waiting until your washing machine or dishwasher is full, rather than running half loads, will lead to savings, as will using the machine’s economy cycle. The tumble dryer is the second most expensive appliance to run after the fridge. Hanging washing out to dry whenever possible could cut £15 off the average energy bill. When the weather’s not so good, indoor airers or extendable clothes dryers could be used as long as the house does not have moisture problems.

Kettle and hob. Research shows that we tend to boil twice the amount of water we need every time we boil the kettle, wasting energy and money. As long as the electric element of the kettle is covered, measuring how much water you need with the cups or mugs you intend to use and pouring this into the kettle can make savings. If everyone did this we would save enough electricity to run half the UK’s streetlights. When cooking, putting lids on pots will help food heat up quicker and use less energy. Using the correct pan size for the hob will avoid unnecessary heat loss.

Dripping taps. A dripping hot water tap will waste enough hot water in one week to fill half a bath. Repairing leaking taps and making sure they are fully turned off will result in savings. Furthermore for households with metered water, these measures will save on water bills too.