“Who left the lights on?!” We don’t know about you, but this is a common phrase shouted up the stairs most evenings. It doesn’t matter how many times you tell the kids to turn the light off as they leave a room, it’s about as successful as getting them to turn their socks the right way round before putting them in the wash! That being said, rather than give up altogether, we’re taking back control in homes and finding other ways to reduce electrical demands – ones that don’t rely on our household playing ball too! Take a look and see what you could implement in your home.
1 – Don’t go on standby
Many of us are guilty of it. From unplugging our phones in the morning to turning off the TV at night. Few of us will reach behind the units to turn these plugs off at the socket. But what does standby mean for our energy usage, and more importantly, our electricity bill?
It is predicted that standby mode is responsible for 1% of global carbon emissions. That’s quite significant when you think about it. Even more daunting when you realise that there is quite literally no reason, for anything, to ever be on standby. If it is not in use, it can be turned off.
Over the course of a year, you can save an average of £30 on your electric bill just by flicking the switch. The more items on standby or the more sockets left on with wires attached – the more money you waste. During a time where we’re looking to make every saving possible on our energy bills, can any of us really afford to waste money for the sake of hitting an off button instead of a switch on the wall?
2 – Use the water you need for the kettle
Our next tip is our favourite. There’s nothing worse than waiting for the kettle to boil so you can have that much-needed cuppa in the morning. But the more water in that kettle, the longer it takes. So instead of filling the kettle, we fill the mug we want to drink from and pop that in the kettle instead.
The energy required to boil the kettle is directly linked to the volume of water. It seems silly to boil more than you need. You’re literally wasting money every time you flick the switch. 34% of electrical energy in the kitchen is said to be from boiling the kettle. But by filling it correctly it has been estimated that you can save £19 from an annual £600 bill. Not so bad for a simple action.
3 – Switch to LED bulbs
Especially during the winter months when the days are shorter and darker, it’s crucial to make sure you’re not wasting money using inefficient bulbs. There may not be a need to go directly out of your way and replace every bulb with an LED one. However, whenever you need to replace a bulb, purchase an LED one.
LED bulbs are significantly more environmentally friendly as they are 80% more energy efficient than any standard bulb. The lifetime of an LED bulb is 20 times longer than a standard bulb, making the cost of each over 20,000 hours; £5.40 for an LED and £25.80 for a standard. It’s not just about the initial price of the product, but how it will reduce your costs over time.
4 – Make use of your microwave
It’s a powerful piece of kit, but for some reason, the microwave has a stigma attached to it that relates to ‘lazy cooking’. The truth is, a microwave can tackle some tasks just as well as an oven, however, it will use less energy and reduce your cooking time. Soup and frozen vegetables are perfect examples. Instead of waiting for things to boil in a saucepan, just pop them in the microwave instead.
By opting for your microwave instead of the oven, you could save nearly £115 over the course of a year. It’s one of the biggest energy usage swaps you can make in your home. Plus, it saves a lot of time. Sounds like a win-win situation to us!
5 – Invest in efficient appliances
Talking about appliances, it’s always worth investing in efficient ones. This doesn’t mean you need to go out and get a brand new kitchen. However, when one does need replacing make sure you’re investing in an efficient one so that it pays in the long run by reducing your energy usage.
A highly rated appliance will use considerably less energy than any alternative. An efficient washing machine could save you £65 whereas a fridge freezer could save you around £320 – and that’s just the difference in energy usage due to its efficiency rating. Helpful tip: Look for A/B ratings (under the new scale) where possible!
There are plenty of ways to reduce your electrical energy demands at home. Most of the time, it just requires an extra step in your thinking. The extra thought to turn something off at the wall, to use a microwave instead, purchasing a different type of bulb and filling your cup before putting the water in the kettle. Little steps, as always. Try to add a couple into your routine this week and let us know how you get on!