Energy efficiency from the smaller items at home

Remember when Boris Johnson talked about buying a new energy efficient kettles to help combat the surging energy prices earlier this year? Yes, sadly, we do too. Although the comment was wildly criticised and to be honest, baffled most people (including us) we have been doing the research Johnson should’ve done before speaking publicly. While the energy crisis continues to batter our bank accounts, we’ve released all our investigations into lowering costs, but we’ve also done some appliance investigations. You see, Boris wasn’t wildly off when he spoke about buying a new kettle, but it isn’t as simple as that and it’s certainly not going to transform the cost of your bills enough. But for us, it’s a start, a little by little, we hope appliance changes will help.

Energy efficient kettles 

Let’s tackle the elephant in the room. Our kettles. As a typical Brit, you possibly boil your kettle 5/6 times per day and that’s if you’re not working from home! We love our hot drinks so what sort of impact is it having on our energy consumption? The Energy Saving Trust believes that boiling less water and just enough for what we need will save us up to £8 a year based on 24 boils per week (and that was before the October price rise).  

Toby Walne, a freelance journalist, was fed up with all the information telling him how to save money so he invested his money into a power meter gadget that would tell him exactly how much energy his appliances were using. He could then do the calculations based on his tariff. He quickly discovered that by reducing his habit, from a full kettle per boil to just the amount he needed, he could save £32 a year.

But how would Walne do if he took Johnson’s advice and invested in an energy efficient kettle? The obvious answer is that he would save more money. But what about investing in a water and energy efficient kettle? A Breville Hot Cup kettle may look fancy and at £40, it’s certainly not cheap. However, it ensures you’re only ever boiling the water you need and it uses 3kWh – the same as the average kettle. Could this be the energy efficient kettle you need to make your first steps? 

Alternatively, you may already be well-versed in only using the water you need. In which case, you might look at how you can use less electricity with your kettle. Of course, turn it off at the plug whenever it is not in use – that’ll save a lot of vampire energy. But also be on the lookout for a kettle with a better energy rating.  

Energy efficient bulbs 

It may come as a shock but your bulbs could be the key to saving a lot of money in your home. Something so small, but when put together can create a big saving. Did you know the average UK home has 40 bulbs in it? Take a moment to count yours… go on, we’ll wait. Are you shocked? We were! One of the team at Greenredeem lives in a one-bed flat and managed to count 14 bulbs, and that was just inside the flat, not including any hallway or outdoor bulbs. 

The Energy Saving Trust claims that you can save £13 a year by switching to energy efficient LED bulbs. A traditional 110-watt bulb left on for 5 hours a day can cost you £53 of electricity a year. Think about these dark winter evenings, that’s easily 5 hours. Now imagine if you left every bulb in your home on. We’ll use our Greenredeem team member’s home of 14 bulbs. That’s £742 a year. Did you count more than 14 bulbs in your home? You could be spending even more. So when your bulbs blow, replace them with energy efficient LED ones, you could save a fortune over the year! 

When buying new isn’t worth it 

At the beginning of this blog, we discussed Boris Johnson’s Ludacris solution to everyone’s problems. While we’ve demonstrated in this blog how much you can save through small changes and why they’re useful. The idea of buying something new and more energy efficient isn’t always the best solution. Remember: the best thing you can buy to help the planet is nothing. But today we’re looking at saving money – so is there a middle ground between the environment and our bank balance? Of course!

Some of the appliances in our homes are luxuries. One of them being the tumble dryer. If your tumble dryer uses 4.5kWh to dry a load of clothes, and you use it 4 times per week, you’re using roughly £274 per year. A new energy efficient tumble dryer may save you more in the long run, but the initial cost will set you back a lot. So if you want to truly save money – and help the environment – use a clothes horse. While it may take longer for your clothes to dry, you’ll spend zero money and zero energy drying them. A win win situation!

There are some ways to make the smaller items in your home work more for your money such as energy efficient kettles and bulbs, but it’s also important to note that just because it’s energy efficient, doesn’t mean you need to buy them. The tumble dryer proved that! Every situation is unique to you and the way you use energy at home. Consider buying a power meter so you can measure the wattage of your items, and then you can do some calculations at home to determine if it’s worth replacing or not.

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