Ways to save energy

Making big changes to your home can help you save money and energy, but there are also lots of smaller things you can do to make the savings really add up. Have a look below at some of our money saving advice and run a mini energy check-up in your home.

You might not realise it but some of your electrical appliances can drain a lot of energy and cost you money, even when you’re not using them. Here’s how you can help stop them cranking up the kilowatts:

Standby

34% of us admit we leave up to 15 gadgets and appliances turned on at once.1

Most modern devices and appliances have a standby option and lots of us use standby without even realising. Do you?

TVs, DVD players, chargers, microwaves and even cookers use a surprising amount of energy when they’re on standby or left plugged in. There are lots of other energy draining appliances out there as well: look out for any lights or digital displays that are still showing even after you have turned your device off.

When you go to bed, why not check the room for any standby lights in the dark? They’re the devices still using energy.

To make sure your appliance isn’t draining energy (and costing you money) switch it off at the wall or unplug it when you’ve finished using it. 

Overcharging

Did you know that 49% of us overcharge our gadgets?2

Even when a gadget is fully charged; if it’s still plugged in it could still be using energy. Make sure you don’t overcharge your gadgets and unplug them once they are fully charged.

With some devices, overcharging can also lower battery performance and the ability to hold a full charge over time. Why not try using a timer? This is a great way to prevent overcharging while you sleep or manage appliances when you are out.

Older appliances and energy efficiency

Unfortunately as appliances get older they tend to use more energy. If you leave an older appliance on, it will use a lot more energy than a newer, more energy efficient model.

For example, if you have an older fridge or freezer, this may be draining more energy than you think. As the appliance gets older, sometimes the seal starts to become less effective. A simple way to check this is to place a piece of paper against the seal when you close your fridge or freezer. If it is difficult to remove then the seal is still working properly. If it’s easy to remove or it falls out then there’s a good chance your appliance is draining more energy than it should.

When you are looking to buy a new appliance, keep your eyes peeled for the EU energy efficiency label. These range from A+++ to G, with A+++ being the most energy efficient. These labels are now a legal requirement on many large home appliances such as fridges, freezers, washing machines, electric ovens and air conditioners and are a great way to see, at a glance, how energy efficient your new purchase is. Also, be on the lookout for offers: some retailers offer cash for old white goods when you replace them with new ones.

1 Research carried out amongst 10,000 UK adults by OnePoll in March 2012
2 Research carried out amongst 1,997 UK adults by vision critical in February 2013