Energy Saving Tips

Many people face difficulties due unaffordable gas and electricity bills. Follow these top tips to see how much you could save.

With more people remaining at home for extended periods of time because of the coronavirus outbreak, households may see an unexpected increase in their monthly energy usage. 

These top tips and tricks could help you to minimise the increased costs.

In the Kitchen
  1. If your freezer isn't frost free, make sure to defrost regularly. Build up of ice means that your appliance will need to work harder to keep your food cold. 
  2. When defrosting frozen food place it in the fridge. Not only does this ensure that the food is carefully defrosted, its presence cools down the fridge interior, reducing the amount of work it has to do, and therefore lowering energy consumption.
  3. Every time the fridge door is opened, cold air escapes and warm air enters the fridge must then use energy to bring the temperature back down. Always avoid opening your fridge door unnecessarily and for too long
  4. Never put warm food in the fridge as this will heat up the interior, as well as other stored foods. Hot food should always be allowed to cool to room temperature before placing it in the fridge.
  5. Cover liquids and wrap foods stored in the fridge. Uncovered foods release moisture into your fridge causing it to have to work harder. 
  6. Don't open the oven door while food is cooking. You can lose up to 50 degrees in temperature and waste energy.
  7. Cover pots when cooking and cook by time and temperature guides.
  8. Use small appliances such as toaster ovens, electric pressure cookers, microwave ovens, or convection ovens for small meals rather than your large oven. They will save energy and can save on costs because they generate less heat.
  9. Run the dishwasher only when you have enough dirty dishes accumulated for a full load.
  10. Your washing machine is one of the more expensive appliances at around 50p per one-hour wash. Wash clothes at a lower temperature to save energy and money.
General Tips and Tricks
  1. Although it's officially spring, choosing a cosy jumper and slippers instead of shorts and a t-shirt can stop you needing to turn up the heating. Layer up and save money! 
  2. Make use of any energy-saving features that may be available on your mobile or other electronic devices. 
  3. When streaming content, choose the smallest device that makes sense for the number of people watching. Avoid streaming on game consoles, which use 10 times more power than streaming through a tablet or laptop.
  4. Always be sure to turn off lights, fans and electronics when you leave the room.
  5. Only boil the amount of water you need each time you put the kettle on
  6. Install energy efficient light bulbs and turn off lights if you aren't using them.
  7. Ensure your heating and hot water comes on at the time you need it and isn't wasted.
  8. Turning down your thermostat even a small amount (1 degree) can save significant amounts.  
  9. Most electronic or electrical appliances can be switched off at the plug and don't need to be on standby.
  10. Shutting the curtains, especially lined ones will stop heat escaping through your windows
Longer Term Savings
  1. Make sure your cavity wall and loft insulation is up to scratch. Uninsulated homes can lose up to 35% of the heat from your home through the walls and up to another 25% through the roof. You could save £140 per year on your heating bills by installing cavity wall insulation and £175 a year by topping up the insulation in your loft.
  2. Insulating your hot water cylinder with a lagging jacket should pay for itself in months! To make further savings, nip in the shower rather than filling a bath and take a close look at your cylinder thermostat - there's no need for it to be set higher than 60 degrees centigrade/ 140 degrees farenheit.
  3. Remember also to check your energy tariff. If you have a fixed tariff due to end and do not sign up to a new tariff, you will be automatically put onto a more expensive standard tariff by your supplier. You can check your tariff if you have an online account, or by checking your most recent energy bill or statement. The Advice Shop can also help with checking your tariff or help with tariff comparisons phone 01506 283000 or email energy.advice@westlothian.gov.uk