Mind your Pocket and the Planet: Ten Ways to Cut your Energy Bills
With most of us spending more time at home, we’re using more resources than before, whether it’s running the heating for hours or boiling the kettle a dozen times a day. Here, we look at 10 super ways to cut down on our energy bills and be kind to our environment too.
Shut down the standby
Keeping your appliances on standby can cost you more than you think, so it’s worth switching them off when not in use. According to Electric Ireland, appliances left on standby are using 20% of the energy they would use if fully switched on.
Smart socket plugs are a great solution too: these cut power to devices on standby, only turning on (and costing you money!) when you need them.
Shower instead of soaking
Who doesn’t love a good long soak in the bath? A bubble bath might be the height of luxury, but switching to a shower uses a lot less heated water ¾ SEAI research tells us that a shower typically uses 20% of the energy compared to a full bath. You could also go as far as to shorten your shower time and reduce the pressure to avoid heating more water than needed.
Turn down the heating
By turning your heating down a notch, you could save as much as 10% on your heating bill, according to switcher.ie.
Another good idea would be to set timers for your heating, so you don’t use more energy than you need. Radiators may keep their heat for some time after they’re switched off, so try setting the timer to come on 30 minutes before you need to warm up the house and set it to turn off 30 minutes before it normally stops.
Step away from the fridge
How often do you find yourself staring aimlessly into the fridge trying to decide what to have next? Or perhaps you have a habit of leaving the fridge door open while you’re packing away your groceries after the big shop. This should be avoided as according to SEAI, for every 10-20 seconds you leave the fridge door open it can take as long as 45 minutes for the fridge to cool back down again.
Simple things like only boiling the water you need for that cuppa or steaming your veggies to avoid boiling excessive water could make a difference. Use the right-sized pan for your hob to save energy escaping and where possible use your microwave instead of the oven as it may use less energy. It all adds up!
Lower your laundry cost
Reducing the temperature on your washing machine, opting for the quick wash cycle and making sure you wait until you have a full load could all help reduce energy waste and could help with saving money when washing your clothes.
Some tumble dryers can use a vast amount of energy as they have to spin and produce heat. Where possible, hanging clothes outside or on a clothes horse can be more energy efficient options.
Fill the dishwasher
Only turn on your dishwasher when it is full. Turning it on when you only have a half load uses the same amount of energy as a full load, so waiting until it’s full could save you money and avoid wasting water and energy.
Turn off lights
Electric Ireland states that lighting makes up 11% of our electricity bills, so it makes sense to turn off lights in the house when they’re not needed.
Stop the draughts
Go through your house and check for any areas where cold air might be sneaking in. It might be a good idea to consider investing in a draft excluder. It is very important, however, to make sure that you don’t block any air vents.
Switch to energy saving gadgets
Saveonenergy.com have some great ideas for energy saving gadgets for your home. The most obvious is to switch to LED light bulbs which, according to saveonnerergy.com, use an amazing 75% less energy than traditional bulbs and last up to 25 times longer.
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