There are a number of ways you can reduce your impact on the planet and lower your energy bills. Keep your home warm with these top tips:
To reduce carbon emissions in your home and lower your energy bills, start by reducing how much energy is lost.
Did you know?
15% of the UK's greenhouse gases come from heating our homes. The biggest heat losses from a typical home are from the roof and walls.
- If you reduce the temperature in your home by just 1 degree on your thermostat you will save 10% of your energy use over the year.
- Set your heating system timer to Off when you aren’t at home so no energy is wasted when you are not there to enjoy it.
- Avoid leaving appliances on standby, and turn off chargers when not in use.
- Only boil as much water as you need (but remember to cover the elements of electric kettles).
- Put the saucepan lid on when boiling water, or better still boil it in the kettle to save energy.
- Switch to low energy LED lightbulbs. These can use up to 90% less electricity than incandescent bulbs.
- Switch off lights if you’re the last one out.
- Close the curtains at dusk to stop heat escaping
- Open the curtains when the sun is shining to let the free sunlight warm up your home.
- Draught proof windows and doors (a simple home made draught excluder by the front door and over your letter box will make a big difference), but avoid blocking air bricks and ventilation points.
- Fill up washing machines and dishwashers to avoid half loads when you can. Can you reduce your wash wash to 30C?
- Washing lines and airers are cheaper than tumble driers (Note: If drying clothes inside, open a window, even if for a short while, to let the moisture out).
- Do not put your warm food straight in the fridge, or freezer, this will make the fridge work extra hard to try and keep it cold, in doing so wasting a lot of energy; cover your food and let it cool first.
Make these small changes to save energy and cut your bills.
National Energy Action has a great website full of hints and tips on saving energy and avoiding damp and condensation.
Did You Know? We are making the switch to LED lighting
As part of our carbon reduction programme we have now replaced all the lights in our multi storey car parks to LED lighting. By replacing just the first 387 lights in Swan Walk car park we reduced our carbon emissions by almost 19,000kg a year, as well as saving almost £11k in energy bills.
To give you an idea of the scale of this, 1,000kg of carbon emissions is approximately the equivalent to driving 6,000km in a diesel car!
In the kitchen:
- Think about using lower energy appliances (i.e. microwaves, air fryers, slow cookers) - research found that an electric cooker costs on average 87p to run per day, while a microwave costs a mere eight pence!
- Try to cook in bulk and freeze your left overs - it will use a lot less energy to reheat than to cook another batch of food from scratch.
- When using an electric oven, turn it off ten minutes before the food’s finished cooking. The oven temperature will remain the same so the food will still cook through to completion without the oven using energy.
- The paper test! Try the paper test on your fridge: if the door can’t hold a piece of paper when you shut it, the seal could be broken. Which means it’s not working efficiently – and uses more energy just to stay cold.
- Slow cookers: Even though you leave them on for hours, slow cookers tend to use less energy to cook your dinner than using the stove top or oven. They don’t need high temperatures and use around the same energy as leaving on a 60-watt light bulb. Bonus, it’s all in one pot so there’s less washing up. Read these top tips and suggested recipies when using a slow cooker.
- Ovens: Have your cooking appliances gone off the boil? Fan ovens can usually be used at slightly lower temperatures than other types as the heat’s circulated around, efficiently heating your grub. But check the fan and door seal are in tip top shape so your oven doesn’t have to work harder to warm your delicious concoctions. Check out these energy efficient cooking tips.
- Insulate your hot water tank.
- Install thermostatic valves on your radiators.
- Replace your old boiler with a new energy efficient condensing boiler.
- Consider upgrading your loft, floor and wall insulation and double or triple glaze your windows.
- When buying new equipment for the home bear in mind that every new item produced creates carbon emissions, so it is important to make sure you use it fully before replacing it. The more efficient your everyday appliances, the less energy they use, so the lower your bills should be. When buying new try to buy those with a high Energy Star rating which use a minimum of 20% less energy.
Once you have reduced the amount of energy you use, consider switching to renewable and low carbon forms of energy, such as heat pumps and solar panels.
- Switch to renewable energy – in terms of potential cost and carbon saving, switching to a renewable electricity tariff is probably the simplest and most effective thing you can do. The Citizens Advice Energy Comparison website is a good place to start if you’re thinking of switching. If you’ve not switched energy provider for a while and are on a ‘standard variable’ tariff, there’s a good chance that comparing different suppliers and tariffs could also save you some money.
- Think about renewable-based heating systems – like air source heat pumps. Using an abundant natural resource – air – they could end up being a greener way to warm your home.
- If you can add solar panels to your home. Find out about a new partnership scheme: Sussex Solar Together
DID YOU KNOW:
- The Energy Savings Trust website provides advice on renewable/low carbon forms of heating and electricity, as well as free online tools and calculators to help decide which technology will be the most cost effective and suitable for your home.
- Visit our dedicated page on saving money on your energy bills for a range of schemes and grants to help you achieve your energy saving goals.
- Horsham District residents can get FREE tailor-made home energy advice from the West Sussex Citizens Advice home energy telephone service. This telephone service is provided by Arun and Chichester Citizens Advice but covers all of West Sussex including the Horsham District. You can get help with:
- Checking you are on the best tariff and look at ways to save you money
- Information on Local and National schemes to help keep you warm and well at home
- Helping you find funding for further energy saving and heating measures
- Support with energy and other household debts
- Signpost you to other relevant community services and schemes, and much more
- The service is available to all housing tenures, owner occupied, private and socially rented homes.
For those of us usually based in an office, working from home has become part of the weekly routine. That’s why, as we are committed to working sustainably and becoming carbon neutral, we need to think about how we can reduce our carbon emissions when working from home. It may be something quick and easy to do but, multiplied across our whole workforce, it could have a really big impact on our collective carbon footprint.
Not only will this be good for the environment, there’s a chance that some of the things we do will save us money.
- Home heating: If you are working at home some days, try heating just the room you are in all day rather than the whole house.
- Boil just enough for your brew. It’s amazing, but true that kettles use up about 6% of all the electricity supplied to British homes! Make sure you only boil the amount of water you need. Living in a hard water area, it’s also a good idea to descale your kettle more regularly as it will use more energy to boil the same amount of water if it’s full of limescale.
- Turn appliances off standby – a smart meter will show you which appliances use the most electricity. It will also show you that appliances use electricity when they’re on standby. In most cases, appliances can be turned off at the plug without upsetting their programming. This will reduce the amount of electricity you use with zero effort on your part and could save around £35 per year. Switching your work computer and screen off at the end of the day will also help you to keep a bit of separation between work and home life.
- Wash and dry wisely – when you’re working from home it’s easier to put a wash on during the day and hang it outside rather use a tumble dryer. Try washing your clothes at 30 degrees to reduce the amount of energy you use too. Modern detergents work well at cooler temperatures. A fully loaded washing machine will also use less energy than two half loaded washes. Remember that you can also reduce the amount of hot water you need to wash up by using a bowl rather than a running tap.
- Monitor your energy use – if you haven’t done so already, ask your energy company about installing a smart meter at home. There is no cost for this and your smart meter will help you to work out how much electricity and gas you use and when you are using it. Here is a brief introduction to smart meters.
Find out more
- Funding advice on how to secure grant funding and save money on your energy bills.
- Get recommendations for home improvements to save on energy and your bills
- Check to see if you are eligible for help with your winter fuel bills through a Cold Weather Payment or a Winter Fuel Payment
- The Energy Saving Trust website has lots of useful information on saving energy at home, from insulating your home so that you don’t lose energy to advice on energy efficient appliances.
- Watch this short video giving five quick and simple tips to save energy.
- Friends of the Earth: Saving energy tips.
- Climate and environment news: Small changes make big savings.