How to save energy at home | Virgin Pure

By Bob Fear

How to save energy at home | Virgin Pure

If you’re looking to cut down your energy bills and save money, it’s handy to know all the different ways you can easily reduce your energy usage at home. We’ve compiled a list of all the best energy-saving tips you can try that might help you cut your costs.

How to save on heating and hot water

The best way to save money on your bills is to reduce the amount of energy you use at home. A huge chunk of our bills goes on heating and hot water. Here a few things you can try that might help you become more efficient with your home heating and hot water:

1. Turn your thermostat down by one degree

You could save around £80 a year if you turned your room temperature down a notch. According to USwitch one in five households set their home thermostats to 22°C, which is three degrees higher than climate change recommendations. A comfortable temperature for most people is somewhere around 18°C and 21°C. The Energy Saving Trust says that for every degree you increase the temperature, it will increase your heating bill by 10%.

2. Less baths, shorter shower

Running a full bath uses more hot water than a quick shower. Keeping your time in the shower down to four minutes will save even more energy. If you love a long, hot bath, try keeping this down to just one a week and hopping into the shower instead on other days. Be mindful if you have an electric shower, as these can be one of the most electricity-guzzling things in your home.

3. Wash clothes at 30°C

Setting your washing machine to 30°C rather than 40°C will help save energy, as will ensuring the drum is full every time you use it. Cutting your usage by just one run a week should also help keep your bills down. The newest, most efficient washing machines will score an A on the A to G energy efficiency scale. An older washing machine may still use the previous energy labelling scale, where an A+++ rating means it will use less energy than an A+ one.

4. Don’t heat empty rooms

If you have thermostatic radiator valves (TRVs), control how much you heat each room according to how much you use it. Typically, we sleep better in a slightly cooler bedroom, so if you can snuggle up under your quilt - keep your bedroom temperature down a notch or two.

Discover 30 ways to save water at home and at work

5. Don’t keep the hot tap running

Rather than doing your washing up under a running tap, just fill your sink or washing up bowl and conserve your hot water. Even doing this will help keep your energy bills down.

6. Fill the dishwasher, switch to eco

Cut some cost by not using your dishwasher when it’s half empty. Only use it when it’s full, reduce the temperature and use the eco or energy-saving setting if you have one. An A-rated (on the most recent A to G energy labelling scale) or A+++ rated (on the older scale) dishwasher will be the most efficient.

7. Shut doors and curtains, block draughts

Keep the heat in your home by closing your blinds and curtains in the evening and shutting the doors between rooms. Every little helps! Heat is easily lost through gaps around doors and windows so some simple draught exclusion remedies, from sticky strips to stuffed snakes, can work wonders.

8. Insulate your hot water cylinder

Keeping your hot water hot seems like an obvious trick, but many of us haven’t invested in a nice, cosy jacket for our hot water cylinders. An 80mm-thick British Standard jacket could save you around £70 a year on your energy bill.

Read our 28 tips to reduce your carbon footprint

Save electricity with efficient appliances and lighting

Monitoring your usage of household appliances and lighting and ensuring they are energy efficient will help you save money. Here are some ways you may be able to cut your energy bills:

1. Don’t standby, switch off

Switch off your appliance at the mains rather than leaving it on standby mode. If your appliance doesn’t need to be plugged in all the time to operate, getting into the habit of unplugging could save you a fair few pounds in electricity if it still has that little tell-tale light on. 

2.Check your energy labels

The newest efficiency labelling scale for washing machines, washer-dryers, fridges, freezers, dishwashers, TVs, displays and lighting runs from A to G, where A is the most energy efficient. The previous scale ran from A+++ to G-, where A+++ was the most energy efficient. If you’re looking to buy new, it’s worth bearing in mind that you need to compare the same sized appliances when looking at their energy ratings so you’re accurately comparing like-for-like.

3. Avoid the tumble dryer

If you can hang your washing out, then avoid using your tumble dryer. Keep your dryer usage for essential times and items if the luxury of space and sunshine is available.

4. Is your shower electric?

Electric showers can be the most expensive thing to run in your home. So while taking showers uses less hot water than running a full bath, taking a long powered shower could also eat up your electricity. Try regular four-minute showers as a way to help keep your bills down and switch to the good old eco or energy saving mode if you have one.

5. Turn off the lights

The old favourite is still the best. Switch off the light when you leave the room - easy! You may not think each little light bulb amounts to much, but it all adds up over time. If you haven’t yet replaced all your old light bulbs with new, super energy-efficient, long-lasting LED bulbs then what are you waiting for?

6. Cut out the kettle

Yes, we know this sounds controversial when we’re a nation of tea and coffee drinkers. 95% of British families boil their kettle at least once a day, and 40% of families do so more than five times a day .

That’s a lot of energy to keep ourselves well-fueled all day. One canny way to save energy is to switch to a hot water dispenser. The Virgin Pure Home Water System uses 38% less electricity per use than a kettle. Switching the Home Water System to energy saving mode means that it will use 50% less energy. It’s definitely time to ditch that old kettle.

Find out more about how much time, energy and water you’re wasting when boiling your kettle

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