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One Utility Bill • 5 mins

11 ways to save energy

How to save energy
11 ways to save energy

Say see you later to energy bill worries and eco guilt. At least for a little while. 

Whether you're trying to shrink energy bills, or protecting the planet by being more energy efficient, it's not as difficult as you might think.

Even if you're on an Unlimited Energy package, there are still carbon emissions to consider when it comes to energy usage. 

Change doesn't have to be scary, and if you don't know where to start, we've got some pretty simple changes for you to consider...

1. Say goodbye to standby

Yeah it's sometimes easier to keep things on standby for an easy startup, but they're secretly using power every minute they're there.

While the exact amount of energy wasted by vampire electronics is debated, the fact is that energy is still wasted. We've got more detail over at our energy saving myths blog. 

98% of people admit to leaving the TV on standby all the time, not realising that the red button on the remote doesn't actually switch your TV all the way off. That little red light in the corner means it's still on, and so it's still using energy. 

Fortunately this is super easy to sort out. Just switch things off at the plug when you're done. Sorted.

2. Be cool(er)

Tiny changes to your thermostat can make a big impact on your energy use. Turning things down just one degree can reduce your energy use by 10%! 50% of home energy comes from heating and hot water, according to the Energy Saving Trust, but you can make a big difference with a small change. 

The World Health Organisation recommends keeping things at at least 18°c to stay safe and healthy, so if you usually have things set higher, nudge it down by a degree to save a heap of energy.

And to make things even more effective, here's how to keep the heat in and stay warm in the colder months.

3. Defeat dirty at thirty°

Washing your clothes at 30 degrees instead of 40 is a super easy switch to make that will make no difference to the results but a huge difference to your energy use. 

A 30 degree wash uses about 40% less energy than a 40 degree one, and most laundry detergents are now formulated to wash just as well at lower temperatures. Most even perform just as well at 20 degrees too, if you fancy going even further. 

  • Bonus tip: If you have outside space, whether it’s a balcony, back yard or garden, dry your washing outside! Unlike tumble dryers, line drying costs nothing, is kinder to the environment, plus all your clothes will smell lovely and fresh.
    • Remember, it doesn’t need to be sunny to dry your clothes! Just keep an eye on the weather, this is the UK don’t forget.

4. Embrace short shower power!

The average shower in the UK lasts 8 minutes, and uses about 96 litres of hot water. The exact amount will depend on your water pressure, your shower head, and a few other factors.

To put that into perspective, for every shower, the average person uses enough energy to heat 48 big bottles of pop.

That's a lot of energy, but it's easy to make your shower more energy efficient. 

Our favourite way to keep track of time in the shower is to pick a song that's about 5 minutes, and try to finish your shower before it's done. There's even a short shower playlist we made for you with some suggestions. and can stop you losing track of time thinking about your shopping, or laundry or whether you did that thing… 

There's a whole blog about short shower power waiting for you at that nifty link just there.

5. Let the light in

Keep your curtains open all day, let the natural light flood in and close them when it gets dark. Sunlight will naturally warm your home, and the curtains or blinds will trap this heat as the temperature drops overnight. The Energy Saving Trust has a whole guide on this to help you out.

If you notice a draught, block it with a towel or blanket, or even a specialist draught excluder. You can get cheap draught excluders on ebay, or make a feature with this cute fluffy draught excluder. Blocking chilly air means less time with the heating on and less energy used.

6. Light up with LEDs

Replacing all of your light bulbs with LED versions may sound like a faff, but LEDs use 90% less energy than other bulbs and last about 25 times longer.

Not only do they use less energy every day, but replacing them less frequently means less energy used globally to manufacture and distribute new bulbs. And you need to shell out for new ones way less often. It's a win/win!

7. Keep it clean

Cleaning takes up your energy, but clean appliances actually use less energy.

  • A clean hob and oven takes less energy to heat than a dirty one, because there's no dirt to heat through.
  • Fridges can also use less energy if you wrap your leftovers rather than just chucking them in before bed.
    • (We've all done it, no judgement.) The moisture escaping from your food makes the air in the fridge more difficult to cool, using more energy than if you'd wrapped everything up.
    • And if you fancy getting extra green points, buy some reusable wrap to use rather than throwing cling film away each time.
  • Fridges use more energy if you store things on top of them
    • Most fridges need heat to escape to stay cool, and stacking things on top keeps the heat in and means it has to work harder to keep the temperature down.
    • It's really common to stash cereal boxes or kitchen roll on the fridge, but find another spot if you can!

8. Keep a lid on it

When you've got a pan on the stove, keep the lid on. You'll keep more heat in and reduce cooking time, along with the amount of energy you use. You could use around 60% more energy cooking with the lid off! Not to mention waiting longer for your food...

9. Be careful with the kettle

If everybody only boiled enough for the cup of tea they're making in the kettle, we'd save a lot of energy!

CheckAppliance.co.uk have done a pretty nifty breakdown that shows you use about 3 times as much energy to fill the whole kettle rather than just a mug.

Fill your mugs with water and tip them into the kettle first. It'll boil quicker (win!) and you'll use less energy! (Double win!)

10. Go to the dark side when you leave a room

Turning off the lights is one of the top 20 things we're most likely to forget to do, along with taking the bin out and closing the window.

The Energy Saving Trust say that lights account for about 5% of the total energy used in a household. So, if you're not in the room or it's light outside, switch off! 

11. Ice is nice (most of the time…)

Every time you turn the hot water tap, you use energy. You might even hear your heating system come on.

Even if the water coming out of the tap doesn't get hot, you're still using energy. And you don't even need it!

It's easy to fall into the habit of turning on the hot tap, but by only using it when it's necessary, and using cold water the rest of the time (rinsing your toothbrush, filling the kettle, etc.) you'll be saving energy without making much of a change at all.


That's it! 11 ways to use less energy. The smug feeling you'll get, knowing you're doing your bit will be worth the few extra seconds of effort each day.


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