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Energy saving tips to reduce energy bills

We've brought together a number of energy saving tips to help you to cut down on your energy bills. Some of these are simple changes, such as turning lights off when you leave a room, whereas some of them are more extensive changes, such as insulating roof and loft spaces. 

Turn off lights

Turn lights off when you leave a room, but only if you're not risking your safety by doing so. It's also important that you make sure to keep stairs and other areas well lit to reduce your risk of falls.

Think about replacing lightbulbs

LED lightbulbs use less energy than traditional lightbulbs, so consider replacing these. Over time, this will save you money on your energy bills. 

Switch off appliances

Switch appliances off when they're not in use rather than leaving them on standby. But don't turn off your fridge or freezer because this could mean your food goes off sooner than it would otherwise. It's also a good idea to defrost your freezer every 6 months, because this will ensure it runs efficiently. Many new appliances come with an energy rating – when shopping around, choose the best energy rating you can.

Take showers instead of baths

If you can, take showers instead of baths – a short shower can use 1/3 of the amount of water needed for a bath. However, if it's easier for you to take baths, consider not filling the tub all the way – the average full bath uses 80 litres of water.

Fix dripping taps

Fix any dripping taps – a dripping or leaking tap can waste up to 1/2 of a bath's worth of water a week and it'll cost you extra if you use a water meter.

Only use the water you need

Turn off the tap while you're brushing your teeth or shaving because this saves water. You could also fill up a bowl and use this to do the dishes and wash food, rather than rinsing every plate and cup under running water.

When making hot drinks, only boil the amount of water you need.

If you like gardening, try and use a watering can instead of a hosepipe. 

Heat the rooms you use most to a stable temperature

Heat the rooms you use the most to a comfortable temperature – usually around 18°C (64°F) is ideal. You can also turn off the radiators in rooms you don’t use, like spare bedrooms, and close the doors to stop heat escaping from the rooms where the radiators are switched on.

It's also a good idea to become familiar with your heating controls work, such as thermostats and timers, because this will allow you to heat your home without wasting energy.

Run machines at lower temperatures

Run the washing machine at a lower temperature – you can often do everyday washes at 30°C. Washing clothes at 30°C uses around 40% less electricity over a year than washing at higher temperatures.

You can also run your dishwasher at a lower temperature – on the 'eco' programme, for example. This uses less energy than higher temperature programmes.

Keep radiators clear

Keep radiators and heaters clear so that warm air can circulate through rooms. For example, it's a good idea to draw your curtains and tuck them behind radiators.

Draught-proof windows and doors

Draught proof doors and windows to stop heat escaping. To do this, fit draught-proofing strips and draught excluders around doors, seal gaps around window frames and add covers to letterboxes and keyholes. It's important to leave some ventilation to reduce condensation and prevent the build up of waste gases from fuel-burning appliances.

Think about double glazing your windows

Double-glazing stops heat from escaping, as well as minimising noise from the outside – you could save money on your heating bills if you install it throughout your home. To keep installation costs down, you could choose to only double-glaze the rooms you use and heat most often.

Insulate your home

Insulating roof and loft spaces can really reduce heat loss in your home and save you hundreds of pounds per year. Most homes have some loft insulation but often not enough. Topping up your loft insulation will make your home warmer and save you money on your energy bills.

If your home has cavity walls – a space between the inner and outer layers of brick – they can be insulated. Insulating your cavity walls will make your home feel warmer and in a typical home cavity wall insulation can save you hundreds of pounds per year.

Insulating hot water tanks and pipes cuts down the amount you'd spend on heating water. 

Help with the cost of energy-saving measures

Larger measures, such as insulation, can be expensive to carry out, but financial help may be available. Larger energy suppliers are part of a scheme called the Energy Company Obligation (ECO) that may be able to fund, or partially fund, the work. You can get help from any participating supplier – they don’t have to supply your energy.

Find out more about the Energy Company Obligation on GOV.UK

Your local Home Improvement Agency (HIA) may be able to advise you on making energy-efficient changes to your home. You can search the directory on their website to find your local HIA. 

Search the directory on the HIA website

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We offer support through our free advice line on 0800 678 1602. Lines are open 8am-7pm, 365 days a year. We also have specialist advisers at over 120 local Age UKs.

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Last updated: Apr 08 2024

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