According to Econ Energy, during the summer lockdown for Covid-19, energy levels massively increased.
With so many of us working and living from home, we were using more electricity, hot water, and heating.
In fact, they claim that the average cost for powering a laptop increased from £26.38 a year to £47.49.
That’s an 80% increase!
What’s more, according to the BBC, our overall energy usage in our homes was up a staggering 30% during the day. Meaning, thanks to our working and living from home lifestyle, we were spending a lot more money on powering our homes than usual.
Because of this, it’s important that we try and keep energy costs down as much as possible. Being conscious of our energy efficiency in our homes should be one of our top priorities moving forward.
Especially when we have the potential to be using more energy as the winter months draw nearer.
Not only will saving energy also save us money, but it’s also a good lifestyle change to adopt in general.
By saving energy, you are also helping save the planet too! Keeping your energy usage down low is a great way to help save the environment.
But, how do we start? Where do we begin on our energy efficieny journey?
Continue reading to find out 5 useful tips for saving energy in your home.
1. Take Advantage Of Natural Light
This may be more difficult as we progress towards the winter months. But, when it comes to saving energy, keep your home light by using the natural daylight.
We’ve all been guilty of flicking on the switch before opening the curtains. It’s a lot easier to do. And, sometimes, when the weather is bad, it simply becomes a habit.
However, this doesn’t mean we shouldn’t try and break the habit!
As we become so dependent on electricity we forget the natural and cost-free ways of doing things. Simply opening the curtains and letting in some natural light is a great way to start being more energy efficient in your home.
In fact, according to Star Energy Partners, by utilising natural light and keeping your lights off during the day, you can save 32% of energy in lighting costs, and 25% of energy in cooling costs.
That’s a huge saving!
In terms of reducing your energy usage, utilising natural light is one of the best suggestions as it literally costs you nothing.
What’s more, many people prefer the use of natural light in terms of heating costs also. Flooding your room with sunlight is a great way of cutting back on your use of radiators, when your room is warming naturally.
2. Unplug Your Devices
When we leave our turned off devices still plugged in – like our TV and chargers and appliances – we waste £75-150 (100-200 USD) each year, according to Direct Energy.
That’s a lot of money! That could be £75 on a fancy meal, or on a weekend away.
All because you forgot to unplug your microwave.
Saving energy in your home can be done very simply, and very cheaply, by unplugging the devices when they’re not in use.
Whether this is a kitchen appliance or a phone charger, there’s simply no need for them to be plugged in when not in use.
You may think that simply not using the appliance, or even turning off the switch, will help. And you’re not wrong. You’re certainly going to be using a lot less electricity with the switch turned off.
But, even when the switch is off and the plug still in the socket, you’re using up small amounts of electricity.
On their own, it may not be that much. But when you think of all the devices you have in your home; your kitchen appliances, your TVs and speakers, your laptops… it adds up doesn’t it?
Before you know it, you’re spending a crazy amount of money for electricity you’re not even using!
So, you need to start unplugging.
It’s one of the best ways for reducing your energy usage in your home, and can be done right away. Start trying it now!
3. Smart Thermostats
Are they really worth it? They’ve been around for years, and are growing in popularity.
But how do smart thermostats work?
Smart thermostats give you more control in how and when you use your heating. They work by connecting your heating to the internet, via your mobile phone or other smart device. As such, they let you control the heating in your home when you’re not even there.
Meaning, that you can be at work, or in the shops, or on your way home, and can set your heating on without being in the house.
But how great are they at being more energy efficient?
Well, smart thermostats are great because they let you have direct control.
Not only can you control the heating when you’re not home, but you can also schedule when you want the heating to be on. As well as this, rather than going around the house and turning off all the radiators, you can even decide which room has the heating on or not.
As a result, you use less heating and are wasting less energy in your home.
Technology has definitely made it a lot easier for us to control our energy use and cut down on our heating and electricity costs.
Whilst it may cost a little to get the smart thermostat in the first place, the savings outweigh it in the long run.
4. And Smart Meters, Too!
Along with a smart thermostat, it’s also a good idea to think about getting a smart meter.
Smart meters are in fact so popular, that companies are providing and installing smart meters for free until the end of 2020.
Why? Because they save you so much energy!
According to a report published in May 2019 by Smart Energy GB, 85% of households who installed a smart meter implemented changes that saw an energy saving.
But how do they work?
Well, smart meters tell you how much energy you’re spending every day. They display how much money you’re spending based on your activities – showering, running a tap, having the lights on. Because of this, you become more conscious of the value of energy and force you to cut back.
And, it’s for this reason, why it’s such a great idea to have both a smart meter and a smart thermostat.
The combination of both can save you so much money as you truly become aware of how much money you’re spending per activity.
And, more importantly, you now have the ability to control your energy output too.
You’re much more likely to cut down on the singing in the shower when you realise what that water waste is costing you 30 pence per 8 minutes. That’s 50 litres of water!
5. Low Energy Water Devices
Speaking of showers, what’s the pressure like in your shower?
Are you aware of how the pressure on your shower and taps can waste money?
Having a low flow shower head or tap can reduce not only your usage of water, but also the volume of water that it needs to get heated. As a result, you’re reducing energy for both water and heating.
According to Save Water Clean Clever, a high efficiency shower can use as little as 6 litres per minute. Meaning, that for every 5 minutes you spend in your shower, you only use 20 litres of water.
That’s a 40% decrease!
What’s more, a shower with an aerator – that is a device in the showerhead that restricts the level of water that comes through – is also a great way of cutting back. It increases the amount of air in the water. The end result is a shower that uses less water, but has the impression of higher pressure thanks to the air.
Otherwise, there are lots of other steps you can take to introduce low energy water devices to start saving energy in your home.
Low flow toilets are estimated to save £75 (100 USD) a year on your water bills. Swapping your taps and showers for low flow can reduce your water usage by up to 60%. And, ultimately, they’re great for saving money too.
Ultimately, saving energy in your household is an extremely important step we should all be taking in the future.
If not to help the environment and reduce our household emissions, but because it saves us so much money too!
As well as this, a lot of these steps are also great ways to renovate and improve your home. From changing your showers and taps, to swapping your lightbulbs, and upgrading your heating systems. Being more energy efficient is a fantastic excuse to carry out some home renovations and improve your way of living.
If you’re the type of person who likes working with your hands, trying to fix the problems around your household yourself, and would much rather have a go at fixing the leaky sink than calling a plumber – have you ever considered that you may be in the wrong career?
At Careers In Trade, we have several different types of courses designed for beginners and adult learners. Whether it’s training to become an electrician, studying to be an engineer, or learning how to be a plumber; our courses are fun, engaging, and designed to be completed in your own time.
Check out our course pages here, and see how you can start your journey as a tradesman today!