Cut your energy usage when you go away this winter
If you're going away to visit family this winter, making a few tweaks at home could reduce your energy consumption and shrink your energy bills, and cut your carbon emissions too. These are super obvious energy-saving tips. Consider this post a handy checklist to make sure you don't forget anything before you go away.
Research from the Energy Saving Trust showed that most people (62%) think saving energy and saving money are equally important, and this little guide is full of easy ways to do both.
Make your house more energy efficient - even when you're not there
Switch everything off before you leave
Switch off all electrical outlets
- If you're not going to be at home, most electronics can be switched off to drop your energy consumption and energy costs.
- Leaving your console or laptop plugged in can be an easy step, but here's a list of things an average household could switch off to rack up fewer units on the smart meter.
- Leaving things on standby mode isn't as big an energy suck as it used to be (as we covered in our energy myths post) but anything you leave switched on when you're not home is a waste of energy.
Switch these things off before you go away for Christmas:
TV and any display monitors
Any game consoles
Smart Home Assistants (Google Home, Amazon Echo etc.)
Bluetooth speakers (or any bluetooth device you won't need while you're away)
Any USB devices or charges you won't be using when you're away
- Any air purifiers or dehumidifiers
Turning your appliances off standby mode isn't going to make a massive dent on its own immediately, but if you're going away for a long time, or use a lot of gadgets at home, it could make a difference over time.
Turn the lights off
You might have some automatic timers set up to turn your Christmas lights or strategic lamps on at home for security, but make sure you haven't left any on by mistake.
- Modern LED light bulbs use a lot less energy than older incandescent bulbs, but anything that's switched on when you don't need it will use excess energy.
Turn the heat down
You only need to keep your home between 12-15°C if you're not going to be there.
- This is really good to know, because it can significantly reduce how much energy you use while you're not at home.
- Heating costs get much higher during the colder months as we all try to keep the house warm. This means turning down the temperature is an easy way to cut the cost of energy.
- Check your smart thermostat and timer to make sure it's set at a home-friendly level.
Why 12-15 degrees?
12-15 degrees celsius will make sure the pipes don't freeze in lower temperatures (which can be an expensive fix) and prevent issues like mold which can be caused by the cold during winter months.
What temperature should my thermostat usually be at?
- When you're at home 18 degrees celsius is the minimum safe temperature, according to the World Health Organisation. Any cooler than that, and you can run into problems like higher blood pressure, increased risk of respiratory infections and other health risks.
- Thankfully your home is much lower maintenance than the human body, so drop the thermostat by a good few degrees to keep your house in good condition, and dramatically reduce the amount of power you use.
- Did you know? Turning the heating down by just 1 degree can reduce your heating bill by 10% according to the Energy Saving Trust.
- Check out some common myths about central heating at home in our myth-busting blog
Lower energy bills and lower carbon emissions = Happier Planet
Lower energy bills are good for your pocket and better for the planet, almost everybody knows that...literally! Research from the Energy Saving Trust shows that 94% of people understood the link between reducing energy use, and reducing carbon emissions.
Of course domestic carbon emissions are only part of the picture, but an important part.
If energy saving is your thing, here are a few more things to help you out.