Surprising ways to save energy in the home

led lights, green home, energy saving

We all know about the common ways to save energy in the home; turning off gadgets instead of putting them onto standby and purchasing more efficient appliances. However, Northern Powergrid, who can help with any electric connection around your property, have put together this guide highlighting some of the energy-saving techniques which you may never have thought of…

Use your phone to be more efficient in the home

Did you know that you can now buy plug sockets for around £20 which are designed so that they can be switched on and off using your mobile phone? This design will surely come in handy if you’ve suddenly remembered you haven’t turned off your TV at the wall and are already out of the door. After all, turning gadgets off at the plug instead of putting them on standby can save a household on average £30 each year!

Keep your fridge and freezer full

There are plenty of ways to ensure your home’s fridge and freezer isn’t using more energy than necessary. Keep them full for starters, as doing so will mean that they don’t need to work as hard.

If you regularly have empty spaces and shelves in your fridge or freezer, it may be a wise decision to downsize them — just try and choose an A++ model if switching, as these can save an estimated £190 in energy bills throughout the lifetime of the product.

Whether you invest in a new fridge and freezer or stick with your current model, be sure to defrost them regularly to prevent ice from building up — causing even more energy to be used. Dust should be cleaned away from condenser coils found at the back of the fridge too, as this results in them using yet more unnecessary energy.

Become smarter with your cooking

You could be using a lot more energy than you need to when it comes to cooking. Remember to only use enough water to keep vegetables covered when cooking them on a hob and ensure you’re using the right ring for the size of pan — you’ll be wasting energy by cooking a small meal in a big pan, as well as time as you need to wait longer to heat up the contents in a large pan on a small ring.

When it comes to the oven, try to save time by baking a few meals at the same time. After all, every shelf in your oven will be getting heated up so you may as well make the most of the space and then have some meals ready to heat up in a microwave later on.

Sometimes, you should even discard your oven for a pressure cooker. Did you know, for instance, that cooking chicken in a pressure cooker takes around half the time as it would to cook the same meal in an oven?

Get savvy when showering

You can be much smarter with the energy you use in the bathroom too, especially if you have a shower installed there.Begin by investing in a water-efficient shower head if your shower takes hot water straight from a boiler or a hot water tank, as opposed to it being an electric shower. Doing so will mean you still enjoy a powerful shower but at the same time reducing the amount of hot water used. In fact, it has been calculated that up to £75 a year can be shaved off your bills by using this nifty gadget!

Whichever type of shower you have in your bathroom, it’s also advised that you fit a shower timer. This is because reducing the time spent in a shower by a minute per day could see £7 a year being saved per person.

Set a lower temperature for your washing machine

Keeping the focus on staying clean, you should also be considering how you use your washing machine when looking for ways to save energy around your home.

As around 90 per cent of a washing machine’s energy expenditure is down to heating the water, washing your clothes at 30ºC instead of 40ºC can see you saving a third of the cost to run the cycle. Just be sure to run a hotter wash from time to time, as this will ensure the washing machine stays clean.

You could also save £5 a year on your energy bills by reducing the times you use your washing machine by one cycle per week — something to consider the next time you only fill your washing machine half way or less!

On the topic of laundry, try to refrain from drying clothes and garments on radiators. Doing so means that your home’s boiler will need to work harder than is necessary.

Invest in a smart thermostat

Did you know that you could save up to £80 a year on your energy bills by simply turning your heating down by a single degree?

Take the hassle out of monitoring these household devices by investing in smart thermostats. While these can come with hefty price tags (some smart thermometers can set you back a few hundred pounds), they could see as much as a third being taken off your heating bills in the long-term. This is because the gadgets learn the time it takes to heat a home and then adjusts the heating so that it comes on at the precise time to bring a property up to temperature.

Don’t worry about coming home to a cold property either — smart thermostats are designed so that they can be controlled using your mobile phone even when you’re not at home.