Simple ways to reduce your energy consumption, improve your homes energy performance and save money each year

We see a lot of EPCs (Energy Performance Certificates) and a lot of the recommendations to improve a homes energy efficiency are often down to having a modern boiler, smart thermostat to control heating, good insulation and solar panels having the most impact.

  • Reduce boiler to 60°C
  • Bleed radiators
  • Service your boiler
  • Install a smart meter and smart thermostat
  • Fix draughts
  • Insulate hot your water cylinder
  • Turn down radiators in rooms you don’t use
  • Install energy efficient shower head / take shorter showers
  • Wash clothes at lower temperatures
  • Turn off appliances at the wall
  • Switch to energy saving bulbs

In this article we go over some simple changes you can make whilst also highlighting the ones that we believe will be the most beneficial to you. If you’re just looking for some simple tips to improve your homes EPC rating or find support in improving your home we have previously covered these topics in some depth.

1. Home heating: tips to reduce your heating bills

Over half of our energy bills spend goes on heating and hot water. It’s really important to look at our home heating habits and see if there are small changes we can make to reduce our heating bill.

  1. Turn down your thermostat. Just one degree lower could save you up to £145 a year. Set a timer on your thermostat for your heating to come on only when you need it.
  2. Turn the heating flow temperature down. Without lowering the temperature of your home, turning the flow temperature down on your combi-boiler from 80℃ to 60℃ you can save up to £95.22 per year. This isn’t suitable for all systems so find out more with our flow temperature guide.
  3. Don’t heat empty rooms. Using individual radiator valves means you can reduce or turn off radiators in unused rooms if you have any. Doing this can would cut 4.5% off the typical UK household’s gas usage, meaning a saving of up to £55 a year. Try to keep doors between adjoining rooms shut to stop the heat from escaping.
  4. Run your heating only when you’re at home. Even using your central heating for an hour less each day adds up to big savings over time.
  5. Draught proofing. By blocking any gaps where heat can escape and cold air can get in, you’ll prevent heat loss and keep your home warm. There are a number of places where you can prevent draught. Draught-proofing your chimney alone could save you up to £90 a year.
  6. Bleed your radiators. Trapped air can make your radiators less efficient, so they’ll be slower to heat up. If you feel confident doing it yourself.
  7. Choose thermal curtains and keep the heat in. Investing in thermal lined curtains and making sure they’re closed in the evening can stop heat loss 27% and save an average home up to £291 a year on energy bills.
  8. Heat people, not the room: Rather than putting the thermostat up further, you could try a heated electric blanket to keep you snug. They typically cost between £25-50 to purchase but use as little as 3p an hour of electricity even on the highest setting.

2. Kitchen: reduce your energy use even when cooking and washing

  1. Stop the frost. Defrost your fridge freezer regularly to prevent it from using more energy than needed.
  2. Clean behind your fridge and freezer. Dusty condensing coils (used to cool and condense) can trap air and create heat – not what you want for your fridge. Keep them clean, and they’ll stay cool, using less energy.
  3. Use smaller pans. The smaller your pan, the less heat you’ll need. Using the right size pan for your meal means less energy wasted.
  4. Keep saucepan lids on. Your food will heat up faster which means you could save 124kW of electricity a year.
  5. Fill the dishwasher before each cycle. Make sure your dishwasher is full and set to an economy setting. Using your dishwasher for one less cycle per week for a year could save you £13.
  6. Only boil the water you need. Overfilling the kettle wastes water, money and time. Instead, only boil as much water as you need. This can save up to 83kW of electricity a year.

3. Bathroom: energy saving ideas for your bathroom

Did you know that about 12% of a typical gas-heated home’s energy bill is from heating the water for showers, baths and water from the hot tap?

Here are some quick ways to save water and money on your energy bills

  1. Consider a water meter. Depending on your water provider and water usage, you could save with a water meter. Find out who supplies your water and contact them to find out more.
  2. Shower rather than a bath. Swapping just one bath a week with a 4-minute shower will reduce the amount of hot water you use and you could save up to £14 per year.
  3. Switch to an energy-efficient shower-head. An energy-efficient shower head could reduce the amount of water you use even further. When you’re using less water, you need less energy to heat it.

4. Home lighting and electronics: keep the lights on for less

  1. Change your light bulbs. Fitting LED bulbs is a great way to reduce energy use at home. Energy Saving Trust estimates it would cost an average home around £100 to replace all its bulbs but cost £35 less a year in energy.
  2. Switch off the lights. Every time you leave a room, switch the lights off. This could save you about £20 a year.
  3. Invest in A-rated appliances. If you’re in the market for new home electrical appliances, be sure to check the energy rating. The better the rating the more efficient the appliance, so the more you’ll save in the long term. Replacing very old fridges or freezers can have a quick payback time with the energy savings.

5. A smart meter could help you save

It’s important now, more than ever, to stay in control of your energy. With a smart meter, you’ll easily be able to track your energy usage and see where you can save so that you can lower your bills and your carbon footprint.

Smart benefits include:

  • Upgrade your meter at no extra cost
  • You’re in control – you can see the cost of your energy
  • Receive more accurate bills
  • If you use cards or keys, you can top up on-line